With nearly a quarter of a century-long tradition of organising the LLW, the SIAE is using a poster to invite people to the learning festival events. The poster features a friendly flower – the golden daisy with a bee buzzing around it, while the background features Mount Triglav with the Sun shining brightly above it. Just imagine how many millennia are hidden in these symbols!

The Sun as the highest object of worship steered the flow of life at the time when Europe was still a common cultural and language space. Linguists today are searching for the source of European languages in the ancient Indo-European languages, while ethnologists are researching ancient observances and their continuation in today’s customs of the individual European nations. When it comes to preserving ancient celebrations dedicated to the Sun, our country certainly stands out,  as a number of today’s customs trace their roots to those ancient times.

The terrible Kurent arrives at Štajerska each year and scares the Winter away.  Vesnik, an old pagan god of spring, who now bears the name of Zeleni Jurij (lit. Green George), still ushers in the Spring in Bela krajina. During the summer solstice, bonfires are burned across all of our lands just as they were in the days of yore when they burned to celebrate the Sun god Kresnik who was most powerful on mysterious  Midsummer Night when  a man  would understand animal language, he could find a treasure and feel unusal power of  Midsummer flowers. One of them is  the golden daisy – a small image of the Sun.  For centuries, it was believed in our country that this flower has  the power of preventing a storm provided it was picked on the midsummer solstice.

Today the Sun is no longer a deity, but remains synonymous with light. Light also represents knowledge that enlightens or illuminates man.

The term of light is also associated with the newest element of the LLW poster – the bee. The bee gave man the first sweetener and the first lighting long ago. The sweet honey and a wax candle are a precious gift that man has been receiving from the humble bee for millennia. The candle extended the day and shortened the night and its light is used today for festivities and celebrations. If we want to make a holiday truly festive, we place a wax candle on a festively set table.

The third symbol on the invitation for lifelong learning is the mountain drawn with a line with three peaks. It is a short signature of a people that identifies with a three-headed mountain that each Slovenian wants to set foot on,  at least once in their life. Old Mount Triglav surely knows how revered it is by the people living at its foot, which is why it kept all of the most important first ascents of its mighty  slopes for the locals.

People from across our country are coming in ever larger numbers with each passing year as they respond to this bright symbolism that invites them to see the light of knowledge. The numerous meetings are an excellent opportunity for new friendships, cooperation and knowledge, all of which enrich our lives.

All of the efforts of our institution, the SIAE, are therefore geared towards always attaining new goals that are represented by old Slovenian symbols. In the country with the three-headed mountain on the horizon, we want to unite all generations in the pursuit of lifelong learning. We want to gather the light of knowledge the same as a bee does – the model of diligence and perseverance that gathers honey on the sunny daisy flower. Gathering honey is the same as gathering knowledge – both bring us sweetness and light.

Dušica Kunaver (dusica@kunaver.com)

© 2017-2019 Slovenian Institute for Adult Education

The publication is co-financed by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

ISSN 2630-2926

Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: zvonka.pangerc@acs.si) | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: ana.peklenik@acs.si) | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc,  Andrej Sotošek, MSc, Director of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MA, and Margerita Zagmajster, MSc, Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: franci.lajovic@acs.si) | Translation/proofreading: Prevajalska agencija Julija  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: https://enovicke.acs.si/en/home/