Slovenski etnografski muzej

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The social construction of holidays. Between heritage, identity and sustainable development

The article uses an analysis of local festivals in Janče to address the processes of the social construction of holidays and the performance of traditional ritual practices at the local level. Festivals in the countryside are usually connected with past agricultural tasks, crops, or the changing seasons. Ritual practices used to unite a community or had a magical meaning, but in their present form of performance they become cultural heritage which influences people’s feelings of affiliation, connects the inhabitants and also has considerable economic effects. At the same time, festivals may stimulate cultural creativity, develop ecological consciousness, and support the development of the countryside in line with the principles of sustainable development.