We had a very good time at Michael's Slava earlier this week. By way of explanation, every Serbian family has a patron Saint, and observance of that Saint's day is one of the most important days in the year for a Serb. It ranks with Christmas and Easter and is certainly far more important that an individual's birthday. It's known as the Krsna Slava, or more commonly just the Slava.
On this day, friends and acquaintances come to the house to share in the family's hospitality. No invitation is necessary. No trouble is spared in providing great quantities of food, including soup, sarma (cabbage rolls), pork, chicken and other meat, salads and an extensive array of delicious cakes. Preparation for the Slava also involves preparing a special cake (the Kolač) and the Slava wheat (where the Saint was a living person, but not where the Saint is, for example, the Archangel Michael). The Kolač is actually a special bread, which is adorned with the sign of the Cross and other symbols, such as the wording below. This means "Jesus Christ Conquers".
The Slava wheat is specially prepared and sweetened and flavoured with honey, nuts and sweet spices
During the Slava, the candle remains alight and the family head does not sit down.
Although the feast is generous and joyful (there will always be food left over - see below!), Serbs are taught that it must not be overdone and that the celebration should be respectful to the Saint.