Archive for November 21st, 2007

my family’s Slava

November 21, 2007

Today is very special day for my family. This day, 21st November, is our Slava. It means that we are celebrating our patron saint – St. Archangel Michael.

Slava is something characteristic for the Serbs, and each family celebrate their own patron saint (celebration day they inherit – son from father, and daughter usually celebrates her husband’s patron saint). Custom is very detailed, there is specially made bread for the occassion, and wine and then there is whole custom about what should be done and said. This day is happy day of family gathering.

During the communism time in Yugoslavia after WWII, many Serbs simply forgot to celebrate slava, because atheism was predominant type of religious belief so to say. But my family always celebrated on this day – but we did not speak openly about that during communism, those were the times when I went to the primary school.

Now majority of people again is celebrating slava, which is very good – even cities celebrate their own slava, etc. So, people are buying books to learn how precisely to celebrate this occassion.

But let me tell you – I do not follow books at all in this particular case, because I feel that this is oral tradition that is inherited from my forefathers, and we celebrate exactly the way my grandfather taught my father etc. I do not have idea if it is according to books or not – it is important that hearts are full in this day, and that we celebrate in love and family peace. And that we offer gratitude to the Lord.

St. Archangel Michael is very much respected in both Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, as well as in Islam, so far I heard. I believe that he is the Chief Commander of the Heavenly hosts.

If you want to give me greetings on this special day, you can say “Srećnа Slava!” which means Happy Slava! My dear friends were calling whole day long on the phone to greet us and give us good will, for which I am very grateful.