Slovenia Celebrates the Reformation Day on 31 October

This holiday has been celebrated annually since 1992. This day is an official day off in Slovenia.

The word “reformation” is of Latin origin and means renewal or transformation. On that day in 1517, the priest Martin Luther hung 95 theses on the doors of his church in the German city of Wittenberg. He insisted on the transformation of the Catholic Church, criticizing it for the activities that, in his opinion, were aimed at the enrichment in the name of religion.

The Reformation led to a split in the Catholic Church, as a result of which Christians of the Western rite were divided into Protestants and Catholics. The event, which occurred 500 years ago, caused a number of religious, cultural and political changes, which contributed significantly to the development of the Slovenian language. Although officially the Reformation Day is a religious holiday, for the Slovene people it is important in the context of the language.

The fact is that one of the most important results of the Reformation was the first two books in Slovenian language published by Primož Trubar in 1550—Abecednik and Katekizem. The Slovenes had the first orthography called ‘Zimske urice’ developed by Adam Bohorič and ‘Otročja Biblija’ by Sebastijan Krelj. From the religious point of view, the translation of the entire Holy Scriptures into Slovenian, made in 1583 by Jurij Dalmatin, is of great importance.

At the same time, interest in education increased in the Slovenian lands. Priests began to teach the basics of reading and writing. In 1517, even a printing house worked in Ljubljana for a certain period of time. Thus, today’s official religious festival is dedicated not only to faith, but also to the birth of the Slovenian literary language.

The Day of Primož Trubar is celebrated on 8 June. However, the 31st of October is the key date. In addition to the first books and initiatives for writing texts in Slovenian, Trubar was the first to lay the foundations of the Slovenian literary language.