Secondary school students flood streets for graduation parade
Ljubljana, 20 May - Tens of thousands of secondary school students filled the streets in towns around Slovenia on Friday for graduation parades featuring traditional quadrille dances.
More than a dozen towns in the country hosted parades, with the biggest taking place in the capital of Ljubljana, where graduates were greeted by President Borut Pahor and Mayor Zoran Janković.
After dancing the quadrille, the students continued the dance to more modern tunes. The streets of Ljubljana saw thousands turnout to celebrate to the sounds of electronic music.
Pleasant weather ensured the turnout was high.
"You have to experience this once-in-a-lifetime moment. We want to dance the quadrille for the last time," said a student from Ljubljana.
In an address delivered from one of the parade floats, Pahor congratulated the students on completing secondary school, telling them that they should pursue their dreams in life.
"In life you will have dreams and if anyone tells you that they are not attainable, you should ignore them," said the president.
The traditional school-leaving party again featured two organisers, the Dance Association of Slovenia and dance school Urška Pro, who have been at odds for years.
The quadrille part has been organised by the association and has spread to other parts of Europe, including Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia.
Since launching the annual parade in 2001, more than 300,000 students in 100 cities around Europe have taken part in the annual parades.
Since their inception the parades have set nine world records for the largest number of simultaneous dancers of the quadrille.