November 21 – Slava in Serbia

Posted on November 21, 2014

Many people in the Serbian Orthodox Church celebrate their family's patron saint on his or her feast day. Today is the feast day of one of the most popular saints, St. Michael. So today many Serbians families are celebrating their most important feast day of the year.

Traditionally, adult sons take their families to their father's home to eat a feast of Slava cake (a kind of bread made with walnuts, nutmeg, and cloves), koljivo, and other favorite foods. Often the family attends a church service or has the priest over to bless the house and give a memorial for relatives who have died.

Where in the world is Serbia?

You probably know that Serbia is in Europe, but do you know exactly where? It used to be a part of Yugoslavia, so I know that it is one of the Southern Eastern nations. Here are some maps to orient you to the location of Serbia, which is just a bit larger than South Carolina in size:

Serbia appears in bright green.

A few of my favorite things about Serbia

Much of the history of Serbia is unhappy—including pretty much all of the 1900s. Serbia suffered greatly during both World Wars, and Serbs as well as Jews and gypsies (the Roma people) in Serbia were all persecuted to the point of genocide by the Nazis. A repressive communist government took over after World War II, and the leader Slobodan Milosevic continued the authoritarian style while Yugoslav Wars erupted. Finally, in 2000, protesters forced the fall of Milosevic and the beginning of a new era—more democracy, more freedom, and a greater stake in world affairs. Serbia is now a candidate for membership in the European Union. More freedom is definitely one of my favorite things about Serbia!

Serbia is the world's second largest producer of plums.

Nikola Tesla is one of Serbia's most renowned scientists and inventors. He designed our modern Alternating Current (AC) system.

Serbian Novak Djokovic is an amazing tennis player, currently Number 1 in the world and considered to be one of the best of all time.

The only Serbian word accepted worldwide is vampire.

The first satellite video transmission between Europe and North America, in 1963, was a picture of the Serbian fresco of the White Angel from Mileseva Monastery.

Vodopod Tupavica is just one of the many lovely waterfalls that dazzle their way through green Serbian landscapes.

Uvac River takes meanders to a maze-like level!

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