Village Patron Saint’s Day

Every church and every monastery have their patron saint’s day, celebrated annually with the parishioners. It is both the church and the village feast.

Village or town patron saint’s days are days for venerating the memory of a saint whom the town or a village have chosen as their patron, or to whom the people of a place have pledged during hard or troubled times, thus celebrating the patron as a token of their gratitude for the rescue (for instance, a disease, an enemy raid, a fire, an invasions, a plague killing people or livestock, great floods, or other disasters). On that day, the villagers pass along the fields or the main streets in a procession, carrying a cross, icons and church banners.

Some villages have a special day, which they celebrate as a memory of an unfortunate event (a flood, a fire, a plague, a thunderstorm, etc.) Such a feast is called a pledge.

On the particular day, there is a gathering or a fair near a church or a monastery. Sometimes the festivities may last two or more days.


Celebration of a village patron saint’s day may also include revering the sacred tree, whose origin comes from the pagan Slavic religion. A sacred tree is an old tree, usually an oak, upon which a cross is carved or an icon put on. In the ancient times each place use to have its sacred tree, sometimes even each clan would have it. The sacred tree must never be cut down. One of the parts of the patron saint’s day procession is saying prayers by the sacred tree.


Almost every village in Serbia has its patron saint’s day.


The custom has been alive from the times immemorial, since Serbs adopted Christianity.