Slava – Celebration of Family Saint Patron’s Day


Commemorative postage stamps

Year of issue: 2022

In stock


Saint Cyril and Methodius

Patron saint’s day (slava, baptismal name) is a holiday dedicated to a Christian saint when the family takes him/her as their patron and protector. The veneration of the holy protector among Serbs dates back to the time of Saint Sava. Today, the majority of the Orthodox in the territory of Serbia celebrate slava as an important holiday in which individual families and their guests – members of the extended family, spiritual relatives, neighbours and friends participate. As bearers of a unique Orthodox tradition, Serbs perceive slava as a way of expressing Christian and national identity.

Уобичајено је да породица на дан славе одлази у цркву, где носилац славе – свечар, обично глава куће или наследник, пали славску свећу у присуству свештеника, који произноси молитве за здравље и благослов дома. Чита се молитва Оче наш, пева тропар светитељу и обавља сечење славског колача који обавезно има утиснут симбол IС ХС НI KA („Исус Христос побеђује”). Свештеник подиже колач изговарајући речи: „У славу и част Светог …”, крстообразно засеца колач и на месту сечења прелива вином. Затим се колач окреће и ломи на четири дела док свештеник честита свечару речима: „Христос посреди нас”, а свечар одговара: „Јест и биће!”

An important part of the celebration of the Patron Saint is the festive meal - a festive lunch where the whole family, its spiritual and blood relatives and friends gather.

Slava is a vital element of the intangible cultural heritage of the Serbian people, and in 2014 it was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In the 9th century, Cyril and Methodius, brothers from Thessaloniki, popularly known as the Holy Brothers, created the Glagolitic alphabet, the first script of the Slavs. By spreading Christianity and literacy among the Slavs, the brothers helped the cultural progress of the Slavic tribes, which is why history remembers them as “Slavic apostles”. The educational work of the Holy Brothers was continued by their disciples after their death. The Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Cyril and Methodius on 24 May, and the Republic of Serbia marks this date as the Day of Slavic Literacy and Culture, which is also celebrated in other Slavic countries.

Artistic realisation of the issue: MA Marija Vlahović, academic graphic artist.

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