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This is a tradition that comes to us from The Serbian Orthodox Church. In a nutshell, it is the family celebration of it's patron saint. It involves the blessing of boiled wheat and kolach (a special bread, more below) in the home by a priest.
Below are four links which we hope will shed light on this rite. Some might consider celebrating the Slava in their home as a way of sharing in the Joy of Christ through thanksgiving for one's patron saint.
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Canada "Serbian Krsna Slava"
sv-vaznesenje.org "SERBIAN PATRON SAINT OBSERVANCE"
holycross-hermitage.com "THE SERBIAN SLAVA"
smfa.com "Serbian Krsna Slava" (duplicate article)
Kolach are baked in many ways, based on the preferences of the family celebrating the slava. Some people like to make their kolach like a sweet bread, while others insist that it be a simple prosphora dough. The common denominator is the cross, which is formed in the center of the bread.
Below are a couple of examples of my first attempt to bake kolach, for my friend and fellow seminarian Danko Boroja. I made a simple prosphora loaf, then covered it with decorations. I have a section on making dough decorations included with the Artos Recipe.
|Here are the first two, right out of the oven. They each have a Serbian eagle surrounded by grape vines with flowers at the bottom.|
This close-up should give you some idea of the details. This is much simpler than it looks: the eagle was cut from a thin layer of dough, topped with the shield onto which the cross and "C"s were attached.
After that, the grapevines and flowers were added.
I'm Serbian Orthodox, and was raised celebrating Sveti Nikola, Dec.
19. My husband is non-Serbian, but was baptized Eastern-Orthodox
before we got married. My husband and I kept my family's (Musulin
Family) Patron Saint, and continue to celebrate Sveti Nikola. I live
away from my family now that I'm married. It's difficult
traveling/celebrating every holiday with them.
Because of the miles between us, the traditional Serbian holiday
cooking/baking is my responsibility now. I've been given so many
You helped make our
Slava a wonderful celebration. May God Grant You Many