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What do you know about Serbian culture? This welcoming country is home to over 7 million people who are immensely proud of their heritage, traditions and beautiful nature. In addition to Orthodox Christmas and Easter, there are some more unusual traditions in Serbia. So take time to learn more about them!
Find out which customs Serbian members hold most dear:
Djurdjevdan – The joyful arrival of spring in Serbia is the time to celebrate ‘George’s Day’ (an Orthodox patron’s saint day), which takes place every year on April 23. Serbians cherish Djurdjevdan because they feel the rejuvenating spirit of this holiday in their lives. It’s a religious occasion based on the story of the dragon slaying freedom fighter Saint George (Sveti Dorde). People across Serbia enjoy lively parties, folk songs and dancing, floral displays, candle lighting and eating bread (kolach).
Slava – Experience a Serbian Slava and you’ll feel even closer to this wonderful country! In Serbia, an entire family shares one patron saint and the Slava (or thanksgiving) is the day each year when they celebrate their saint’s feast day. On their Slava day, a family will invite their friends round to take part in a big feast. They will also light candles, eat Slava bread and drink special red wine. The man of the house is responsible for passing the family’s saint from generation to generation.
Zapis – Every village in Serbia adopts a sacred local tree as their symbol of faith and collective well-being. The local priest carves a cross into the chosen tree (zapis), often a mighty oak or similar species, and gives the tree special care and a protected status. The zapis then becomes the focal point for all village celebrations including Orthodox religious ceremonies, marriages, baptisms, and an annual harvest festival called krstonose.
Dodola – A pagan village custom that involves a girl, dressed in leaves and twigs, who goes from house to house singing and dancing to a special song. Taking place during spring, each homeowner will pour water on the girl in honor of the Slavic goddess of rain (Dodola).
Vidovdan – This marks the important religious holiday of St. Vitus on June 15 (or June 28 on the Gregorian calendar). It’s origin dates back to 1389 when the Serbian Orthodox Church had to defend itself from the Ottoman Empire. The date is highly significant for Serbs because many important events have occurred on this day throughout history.
Get closer to traditional Serbian matches…
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