Saint Gregory’s Day
On 11 March of every year, on the eve of St Gregory’s Day, the arrival of spring is celebrated at dusk. It has been known for centuries that St Gregory threw his lamp into the water. The purpose of this custom was that the water would sweep away all bad things, including concerns and winter. The custom derives from a time when people did not know the electricity. Saint Gregory, who is the patron saint of miners, builders, scholars, students, musicians and singers is known as the bringer of light. Before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, the name day of St Gregory (12 March) was considered the first day of spring. The spring brought longer days and more light and warmth. The days became longer and people no longer needed artificial light at their work. Therefore, as a symbolic gesture, lamps were thrown into the water on the eve of St Gregory’s Day.
The “lamps” thrown into the water nowadays are all sorts of unique art creations, made of paper, cardboard and wood – mostly boats but also model houses, churches, hay-racks, wooden clogs and others. Candles are attached to them and lighted, before being carefully placed on the water surface.
On 9 March, also our pupils ‘threw their Gregories’ on the Rača stream. Their beautiful little creations cast their light along our beloved river and its banks and welcomed the arrival of spring.
Branch school Vrhpolje
(C) Andreja Vavpetič & Zdenka Wicher