The festivity of St Sava, the greatest Serbian educators, the schools celebrate in various ways: with lectures, seminars, concerts, theatre performances, recitals – in working and festive mood. The school celebrations start with a priest coming to a school to cut the bread. Then various commendations are awarded for best student’s projects but also for distinguished achievements in education development. Even today, the St Sava’s Day Balls are sometimes held for the teachers, as it was a tradition once.
A traditional moment at schools’ celebrations is a choir singing the St Sava’s Hymn. The first stanza would be:
“Let us sing with love
To Saint Sava.
Serb churches and schools
Serb pride-protector of schools
Good shepherd, St. Sava,
Let us praise Him, O Serbs
Let us sing His hymn thrice!” *
As early as in the 18th century in some Serbian schools in Austro-Hungary, St Sava’s Day was celebrated as the schools’ patron saint’s day. In 1823, Prince Мilоš Оbrеnоvić ordered the St Sava’s Day to be celebrated as the schools’ patron saint’s day in Serbia.
On 2 January 1840, the St Sava’s Day was established as the schools’ patron saint’s day at a proposal made by Аtаnаsiјe Nikоlić, president of the Lycée of Krаguјеvac by a resolution of the Serbian Principality Council and was celebrated that year both in Krаguјеvac and Belgrade.