What is Serbian Slava? - Everything you need to know about Serbian Slava
Find out everything you need to know about this unique Serbian traditional holiday. What is Serbian Slava? When is it celebrated? Who is celebrating Slava? Who are we celebrating?
What are Serbian Orthodox Slavas?
Serbian Orthodox Slavas are unique celebrations of family patron saints, which are celebrated by Serbian Orthodox Christians around the world. The term "Slava" comes from the old Slavic word for "glory" or "honor" and is a deeply cherished tradition that is passed down through generations of Serbian families.
What does Serbian Slava look like?
The celebration of Serbian Slava is an important event that brings together family members to honor their patron saint. The day begins with a special celebration service at the local Serbian Orthodox Church, followed by a feast of traditional Serbian dishes and customs that differ depending on the celebration being celebrated.
How many Slavs are there in Serbia and which are the most common Slavs in Serbia?
Over 200 Slavas are celebrated in Serbia, and some of the most common are:
- Saint Nicholas (St. Nicholas) on December 19
- Saint John the Baptist (Saint John) January 20
- Saint George (Saint George) May 6
- Sveti Dimitrije (St. Dimitrije) November 8
How do you congratulate Slava?
During the Serbian Slava, it is traditionally said "Happy Slava". This greeting is exchanged between family members and friends throughout the day.
What day is Serbian Slava?
The Day of Serbian Slava is determined by the patron saint of the family and is celebrated in honor of the saint. For example, if the patron of the family is Saint Nicholas, their Glory will be celebrated on December 19.
What is happening at Serbian Slava?
A typical Serbian Slava includes:
- Worship service in the local Serbian Orthodox Church
- A feast of traditional Serbian dishes, such as sarma, kebabs and pita
- Breaking of Slavic bread (Klivjo)
- Lighting the celebratory candle
- Sharing the slavish blessing to family and friends
What is given away for Slava?
It is customary to bring a small gift or dish to the Serbian celebration. Some common gifts are a bottle of brandy, a bouquet of flowers or a celebration cake.
How can you celebrate Serbian Slava at home?
If you are unable to attend the celebration of Serbian Slava, you can still celebrate at home:
- Slava candle - this is usually a large candle that stands in a traditional candlestick and is lit during the glory celebration and held next to the icon of the Slavic saint.
- The icon of the Slavic saint - this is the central part of the celebration of the glory. It is usually placed on a special iconostasis or in a special place in the house.
- Slava bread - this is a specially decorated bread that represents the body of Christ. It is usually cut and shared among the guests during the celebration of the glory.
- Slavic candle - this is a smaller candle that we light in a lamp in front of the icon of the Slavic saint during prayer.
- Rakija - this is a traditional Serbian drink that is served to guests during the celebration of glory.
- Food - traditional Serbian dishes are usually served, such as roast, sarma, beans, prosciutto, cheese, cream and sweets such as cakes and baklava.
- Table - to celebrate the glory, it is necessary to prepare a festive table with all the necessary dishes, glasses, cutlery and other details.
- Decoration - the house is usually decorated with flowers and other decorative elements, and a special place is prepared for the Slavic icon.
- Music - traditional Serbian music is often played during glory celebrations.
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