Ljubenske Potice – Cultural Heritage
by Urška Nerat and Eva Jurjovec
Ljubenske potice (Ljubno Palm Sunday bundles) are artisanal products that differ from other Palm Sunday bundles in Slovenia in that they represent a certain shape like a tool, a device, an object or a musical instrument.
People of Ljubno and nearby towns put all their efforts into making poticas before the Palm Sunday. These products represent a traditional lifestyle. Yet, the folk’s creativity plays the biggest role.
The first potica representing a particular shape was made by Jože Poličnik in the end of the 19th century. In that time boys were competing who would make the biggest potica to be taken to church for the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Since Jože was physically weak and couldn’t measure up to other boys in terms of strength he decided to make the most beautiful potica. It represented a tool box.
Lojze Atelšek from Savina is one of the most widely known makers of poticas. He is one of the rare individuals that keeps his works of art; it is a custom that potica is burned when a storm is coming. Jože Hudej from Ter at Ljubno is also well known for his poticas which he makes every year.
POTICA’S COMPOSITION – SEVEN TYPES OF WOOD
According to many, there should be seven types of wood in a potica: two types of willow, common ivy, yew, common holly, dogwood and common hazel. Traditionally, poticas are handmade as it has always been a rule that only those poticas count which are made at home. Poticas are made of natural seasonal materials.
The rumour has it there is no need to fear for the future of this tradition. Each year, on Palm Sunday one can admire people of Ljubno bringing interesting poticas to church. They are not allowed to sell them, but they do make some for those who are unable to make them. The tradition remains, yet the motifs change every year reflecting the changes in the lifestyle of the people of Ljubno.