Family slava

Celebration of family patron saint (krsnaslava, krsnoime, svetac, praznik, služba, pametsvetom) is practiced by most Eastern Orthodox Christian families throughout the Republic of Serbia, but Serbs also recognize slava as a way of expressing national and cultural identity and they are the caretakers of this tradition.

Celebration of patron saint includes ritual sacrifice of bloodless offering (bread and wine and grains, symbols of Christ’s body and blood, fertility and well-being) and the feast prepared for relatives, neighbors and friends. At the day dedicated in the calendar to the family’s patron saint, special slava candle is lighted in the family home, Our Father prayer is read and the ritual slava cake is cut (it must have the inscription of IS HS NI KA made with poskurnik seal). Slava feast starts by ceremonial drinking of wine, eating of “koljivo” and slava cake, and saying toasts (“zdravice”) wishing for good health, fertility and well-being of family and guests. Then it continues with the meal and feast symbolizing hospitality.

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