Like most Slavic groups, the Serbs have a tradition of patrilineal descent reckoning, and this is reflected in many aspects of the culture, for example, inheritance of the slava or family patron saint. The kindred of a Serb can include individuals spanning ten generations; the Ѕerbian language has carefully defined these people with respect to their various roles and relationships in a rich vocabulary of kinship terminology.
Serbs still widely celebrate their old calendar (julian calendar) new year. Unlike the gregorian new year, which they often call kalendarska or gradjanska nova godina (calendar or civil new year), the 14th of January is called many things: srpska nova godina (Serbian new year), pravoslavna nova godina (Orthodox new year), and confusingly, stara nova godina (old new year). However, the oldest traditional name for this day is Vasilica – the feast of St. Basil.
Probably one of the most well-known paintings in the art heritage of Serbia, “Preparing the Bride” by 19th century Serbian painter Paja Jovanović, is a favourite of mine. It has been reproduced on cards, posters, as needlepoint, even on the lids of chocolate boxes, and is a snapshot of a time that has past but is still somehow remembered by the collective Serbian psyche.