Published: 21.11.2023. 06:20h
In the past, the hosts invited the guests to the celebration personally. The host, or one of the younger members of the house, would go to the guest’s house, usually bringing with them a cake, bun or small bread as a gift, and in many areas where Serbs live today, the custom of taking an apple has been preserved. The inviter greets the future guest and presents an apple as a sign of welcome.
In some parts of Serbia, it was considered that the celebration was not called, but it was understood that all famous people from the region come to the houses that commemorate a certain saint on that day. This was especially true for “regular guests”, those who have traditionally been coming for years.
The first custom has long been lost. Today, for practical reasons, fame is not called personally (except when it comes to people we see every day). It is called by phone, text messages… or, as is another custom, it is not called at all, but the arrival is taken for granted.
Although, it is definitely more polite to invite each guest and express their desire to attend the baptism of your family. Also, today the invitation states the time when the guest is expected (at lunch, or dinner… the first or second day of the celebration). In the past, something like this was not practiced, but today, for practical reasons, people are forced to this type of organization, considering that many live in smaller apartments and cannot receive all the guests at once, and most of the guests also work (on weekdays, and by God and on weekends).
It is also a rule that the host welcomes the guest in front of the house or on the threshold of the home with the words: “Welcome”, and the guest congratulates the guest in this way:
“Congratulations to the saint (e.g. Mrata) and happy glory to you host! May God bless you and your family with health and happiness!”
The host answers:
“Thank you and welcome! And may God and the saints help you to come for many years and to celebrate in health and joy!”
As a guest arrives for the celebration, he is first served with the celebration grain and takes a sip of consecrated wine. First he crosses himself, wishes good health to the house he has come to, and when he finishes, the guests sit at the table according to their seniority.
Whoever observes the custom of not being invited to the feast, and has several feasts to visit on the same day, then the one who was not invited comes to the priest in the time between lunch and dinner, to congratulate the host, who receives and serves him: with grain, drink, cakes and coffee. In such cases, the guest stays for about half an hour and leaves.
This is also done when the guest has to visit several wedding ceremonies, as well as out of respect for the host.
In Serbia, the custom of the “court of fame” is still preserved in some places. Then the host in a festive suit and in a very cheerful mood, welcomes the guests, serves them, and does not sit at the table all day long as long as the celebratory candle is burning, out of respect for the saint who is considered the main guest in the house that day.
Bonus video: MIRACLES DO COME TRUE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE