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The Slava

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" "SERBIAN PATRON SAINT OBSERVANCE" "THE SERBIAN SLAVA" "Serbian Krsna Slava" (duplicate article)


How to make and bake a kolach

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.

A Testimonial

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 recipes
for Kolach, Koljivo, etc.  Every year I try a new recipe.  This year I used your recipe for my Kolach.  I only made 1; so I had to divide your recipe by was a little difficult figuring the "new" quantities, but I knew I had Sveti Nikola by my side helping me!  In the end, my Kolach was beautiful and delicious!  The only thing I didn't follow was adding a little rose water.  I didn't know where to purchase it.  I could imagine it would have given my Kolach a wonderful aroma. 

I thought you'd enjoy viewing a few pictures of my Kolach, Sveti Nikola Liturgy, etc.  Attached are a few .jpg files.  My husband and I attend church at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, PA.  Proto Srboljub Jockovich is our Parish Priest.  Before marriage I belonged to (my family still belongs) St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, McKeesport, PA where Proto Stevo Rocknage is the Parish Priest.  FYI...St. Sava Church just celebrated their 100th Anniversary this past Fall!  St. Nicholas Church will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary in Y2002!

Thank you again for your website and explicit directions/pictures of your Kolach recipe!

You helped make our Slava a wonderful celebration.  May God Grant You Many Years!