Ceremonies around Slovenia Mark 20th Independence Anniversary


Celebration of the 20th anniversary of Slovenia's independence with numerous ceremonies and ceremonial masses being held around the country will reach its climax on Friday when the main national ceremony will take place in Ljubljana.

On the eve of the national holiday, on which Slovenia remembers the day of declaring its independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991, the state celebration will start with a ceremonial session of the National Assembly, followed by a ceremony in one of the capital's main squares.

The main speaker of the evening will be President Danilo Türk and, among other high guests, the presidents of all four Slovenia's neighbours have confirmed their attendance.

In the late afternoon, a mass for the homeland will be celebrated in the Ljubljana St. Nicholas Cathedral by Dean of the College of Cardinals Angelo Sodano, Apostolic Nuncio in Slovenia Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, Ljubljana Archbishop Anton Stres and other Slovenian bishops.

Earlier in the afternoon, a parallel celebration to the state ceremony will be held by the Association for the Values of Slovenia's Independence, founded in late 2010 at the initiative of several key figures in Slovenia's struggle for independence affiliated with the current opposition.

Ceremonies with notable speakers were already held on Thursday in Maribor, Celje, Jesenice and Vrhnika, while festivities will continue on Saturday and Sunday throughout the country and a mass marking the anniversary will even be held in the London Westminster Cathedral.