Date posted: 12/30/2013
Celebrate Serbian Christmas!
For more than one hundred years, the large Serbian population of Amador County has celebrated its traditional festive joy at the birth of Christ in the same way during Serbian Christmas. A volley of shots from amassed rifles ring out over the town from outside the National Hotel, from St Sava’s Church over on North Main Street and from St Sava’s Mission on Broadway. Supported by the local police force who provide a professional escort to the volley of shots, this is one of the oldest traditions in the area and an integral part of traditional Serbian festivities. If you will be at one of the hotels in Amador County in January, be sure to check out this yearly event.
Historically, the Serbian-American population’s ancestors arrived in Jackson more than one hundred years ago, with the original settlers. The cultural diversity of the area is a big part of what makes it so special, so supporting this ancient Serbian tradition is important to all members of the community. Merchants and traders in the town centers leave their festive decorations up until after January 6th in support of these traditions, and even people with no personal contact with the Serbian community recognize this as a normal part of life.
Christmas is celebrated by the Serbian-Americans who are a part of the Christian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar rather than the modern Gregorian calendar, which means that their significant dates do not fall on December 25th or those times which the rest of the community typically associates with Christmas. For the Serbs, Christmas Day is January 7th, though celebrations often take place on the 6th as well. New Year’s Day is also celebrated on the 13th of January. In addition, Christmas Day is only one day of a three day long festival in honor of the birth of Christ, known as Božić. A series of rituals and special meals take place throughout this period, in accordance with time honored tradition which has been largely unchanged in the last century.