Ljubljana bedazzled with Christmas lights
December's festive season got into full swing in Ljubljana on Friday, as Christmas lights, representing joy, love and positive energy, illuminated the city centre and the Christmas market was opened along the banks of the Ljubljanica river.
The Christmas lighting was once again designed by artist Zmago Modic, who wanted it to bring "as much positive energy, joy for others and for oneself, and love in time and space".
Garlands of lights and light sculptures measuring a total of 64 kilometres in length have been put up and have been enhanced from last year's design with a combination of blue and white lights along the edges of the old city centre, said Tourism Ljubljana director Petra Stušek.
The festive season in the capital will be packed with events, including processions featuring St Nicholas and Father Frost, a musical programme, a Christmas concert and events and workshops for children at the Enchanted Forest in Zvezda Park.
The festivities will culminate with open-air parties on New Year's eve with a fireworks display from the Ljubljana Castle hill.
This will take on an eco-friendly concept in line with Ljubljana's title as the European Green Capital . The fireworks will be made of biodegradable materials in the colours of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Europe, Stušek said.
The focus on sustainability will extend to stands selling food, where plastic will be replaced by wood, paper and ceramics for packaging and utensils.
The musical programme of the festive season will feature local as well as foreign artists playing at venues around Ljubljana, including a cappella choir Perpetuum Jazzile, rock bands Dan D and Siddharta, as well as acclaimed Bosnian pop rock band Crvena Jabuka.
Christmas lights were today also switched on in Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city, kicking off the Magic December, a series of 200 events catering to the young and old.
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