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Photographer's Note

The slava ("celebration") is a Serbian Orthodox Christian tradition of the ritual glorification of one's family's patron saint. The family celebrates the Slava annually on the saint's feast day.

In November 2014 it was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Service in the church of St. Demetrius in Sremska Mitrovica

Today is Sveti Nikola (St. Nicolas) according to the Julian calendar, patron saint of my family.

The tradition has its origin in the Medieval Serbia, connected to Saint Sava, the first Archbishop of the Serbs. There are indications that the institution of the slava dates from Saint Sava, that "in his understanding and tactful approach to Serbian folk religion", he "seems to have found a compromise formula satisfactory to both his people's tradition and the requirements of Byzantine theology". The slava is a reinterpretation of a pagan rite: the ancestor-protector became a Christian saint, frequently St. Nicholas, with the pagan rite being reduced of many religious elements and frequent ceremonies and becoming a social event with the annual meeting of the family and friends.

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Additional Photos by Aleksandar Dekanski (dekanski) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 307 W: 125 N: 954] (6557)
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