May 21, 2018

ABOUT FLOWER FESTIVAL

Presentation of International Wild Flower Festival

SPECTACULAR TRIBUTE TO SPRING, FLOWERS, BEES, NATURE AND SOCIALISING

THIS YEAR JOIN US FROM 25 MAY TO 10 JULY 2018

  • Zlatorog’s Fairy Land (fun family weekend in Ukanc)
  • Festival’s Gala Opening
  • Festival’s market (open kitchen, local products and concerts)
  • Guided botanical tours with a culinary accent
  • Concerts and folklore performances
  • Educational and creative workshops for adults and children
  • Outdoor yoga and meditations
  • Exhibitions and lectures
    … and much more.

WHY CELEBRATE FLOWERS WITH A FESTIVAL?

Even before more than 100 years ago when the railway enabled the development of tourism in Bohinj, people had visited Bohinj by carriages or on their own feet so they could see and admire the picturesque and interesting flora and the beauty of nature.

Balthazar Hacquet (1739 or 1740 – 1815), renown Breton natural scientist, traveller and explorer, wrote passionately on botanical riches of Bohinj mountains in his Oryctographia Carniolica which was issued in three parts in Leipzig during 1778 and 1789:

“Oh, how many times I wanted to live my life here as a shepherd, to be able to explore this landscape full of beautiful flowers! How many rare flowers, which I will not be able to see otherwise, could I find there! The mighty mountain range has a number of different climates; therefore many various plants grow there! The part that faces the sea is constantly covered with sun rays. The northern side does not see the sun at all …”

Many other explorers and admirers of Bohinj’s botanical riches followed him. From early spring, when first flowers sneak out from under the snow, until autumn, Bohinj offers the experience of magnificent beauties of alpine flowers.

The festival will last for a fortnight and provide a bouquet of events that have one thing in common – the presentation of alpine flowers in all kinds of environment in Bohinj (along with the waters, meadows, hills, mountains). The purpose of this festival is to remind the local people and the visitors of the unique natural advantage of Bohinj as a tourist destination in the sense of nature preservation and tourism. On the other hand, we wish to develop more tourist-like products that are connected to Bohinj’s natural and cultural heritage, Triglav National Park and similar trends.

The people of the Bohinj area of Slovenia are rightly proud of their long alpine farming heritage and the high quality of their environment. Wild Flowers continue to this day to play an important part in our local culture and while farming methods are changing and young people are becoming less directly involved in managing the land, there is a strong desire to promote and raise awareness of our unique natural and cultural heritage. It is with this background that the local community in 2007 held the first ever “Bohinj International Wild Flower Festival”.

It is in part, through their efforts that we now feel confident enough to promote our heritage more widely afield and hold such a Festival. During the Festival we propose to have three main “themes” for the many events which will be dispersed throughout the area at different venues.

FESTIVAL SYMBOL

Iris cengialti f. vochinensis (“Iris of Bohinj”) is certainly one of the most beautiful flowers we can admire in Bohinj and it is considered as its botanical specialities. Due to its beauty and rich blossoms, it has been planted in the gardens as well. It is rightly the trademark of the International Wild Flower Festival.

The iris has been connected with many traditions and beliefs since the prehistoric times. A special meaning has been given to it as early as in the times of Minoan culture at Crete. In the Ancient Egipt, it was considered as a flower of kings and the Ancient Greeks gave it the name of the goddess Iris (the origin of the Latin name) – the goddess of the rainbow, a connector of the Earth and sky.

The Slavic nations connect this flower with the god of the sky and lightning “Perun” or his wife “Perunika” (the origin of the Slovenian name of the flower). In some places, the belief is kept until nowadays that the rootstock of the iris protects a home or a person from the strike of a lightning.

As early as in Ancient Greece the plant was already used in medicine and up to now its aromatic fragrant rootstock is being used in cosmetics – as a perfume. In the Middle Ages iris was considered a symbol of knighthood – its distinctive three petals symbolise faith, wisdom and nobleness.

It is interesting that iris symbolises martial virtues and heroism in Japan as well. In addition the Japanese in some places still preserve the belief that iris protects from lightning and storms – that is why sometimes it is planted on the roofs of the houses!

FESTIVAL ORGANISATION

Organizer of International Wild Flower Festival is Turizem Bohinj.

Bohinj lies at the heart of the Julian Alps. The biggest attraction of this popular tourist destination is Lake Bohinj, surrounded by a chain of mountains. More than two thirds of Bohinj is inside the Triglav National Park.

In Bohinj we are aware of the exceptional importance of protecting and conserving the environment.
Proud of our natural and cultural heritage, we wish to develop a form of tourism that will be sustainable in orientation and at the same time economically effective.

Two years ago we decided to follow the suggestion of conservationist Ian Mitchell, who has been coming to Bohinj for many years, and organise an international wildflower festival, the main objectives of which are:

  • promotion and recognition of the importance of the natural and cultural heritage of Bohinj and the wider area;
  • presentation of the importance of correct management of the area according to the principles of sustainable development manifested in the simultaneous protection of the rich biological diversity of the natural environment and an improvement of the cultural and economic situation of the population;
  • a practical illustration of how ecotourism and alpine farming can be key elements of the long-term economic prospects of the area and at the same time a model of development opportunities for other mountain areas in Slovenia;
  • development of out-of-season tourism.

The International Wildflower Festival consists of three main sections:

  • Flowers in Art represents the cultural part of the festival: concerts art and photography exhibitions, art workshops, reviving old customs (e.g. village singing).
  • Flowers in Everyday Life (in the kitchen, handicrafts, etc.):
    presented in a work entitled “Flowers at Home”.
  • The technical part of the festival, entitled Flowers in Science, includes a series of seminars and conferences on the theme of sustainable development.

Visitors can also take part in daily guided excursions, photography workshops, children’s workshops, and so on.

Come to the festival and keep blooming!

Organizer of the International Wild Flower Festival
Turizem (LTO) Bohinj
Klemen Langus, Director

Co-organizer

Co-organizer of International Wild Flower Festival is Triglav National Park.

Flowers are like ambassadors, since their diversity shows us the importance of plants, which are necessary for our survival. Symbolically, this life force is expressed by the mythological Triglav flower or potentilla nitida that gives strength to wounded nature. Since it is embedded in the logo of Triglav National Park, it is our duty and responsibility to preserve the tradition of sustainable use of plants and raise awareness about their importance.

And the Wild Flower Festival offers an exceptional opportunity for this!

Dr. Bogomil Breznik, Deputy Director

General patron

General patron of International Wild Flower Festival is Franc Kramar, mayor of the municipality Bohinj.

Bohinj is by nature an extraordinary area in which a range of different characteristics interweave and surround us, residents and visitors alike. This is often pointed out to us by those frequent and less frequent visitors to Bohinj who sometimes see things that we ourselves overlook.

This year we are organising again Bohinj International Wildflower Festival. We are delighted that the President of the Republic of Slovenia has agreed to act as patron of honour of the Festival.

It is my hope that the Festival will also serve as a reminder that we must conduct ourselves appropriately in the natural environment and avoid activities that harm the natural riches that have been entrusted to us.

Franc Kramar, mayor of the municipality Bohinj

Honourable patron

Honourable patron of International Wild Flower Festival is Borut Pahor, president of the Republic of Slovenia.

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