BELGRADE – Today is religious and national holiday St. Vitus – Vidovdan. Vidovdan is a Serbian religious holiday, whose feast is on June 28 (Gregorian Calendar), or June 15 according to the Julian Calendar in use by the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC).
SPC designated Vidovdan as a memorial day to Saint Prince Lazar and the Serbian holy martyrs who gave their lives to defend their faith during the epic Battle of Kosovo against Ottoman Empire on June 28, 1389. It is a Slava (Patron saint feast day) of St. Vitus, connected in Serbian culture to the Battle of Kosovo, among other events. In the field of Kosovo in 1389 the decisive battle between Serbian and Turkish army took place, which opened the door for Turks for further penetration in Europe. Vidovdan represents a memory of all those who died in all wars.
Vidovdan is important day in the collective consciousness of the Serbian people and one of the foundations of collective identity. It symbolizes freedom, resistance to foreign conqueror, fostering of patriotism, national identity, chivalry and heroism, but also a turning point after the period of the rise of the rulers from Nemanjic dinasty.
The special significance Vidovdan got at the time of the creation of a new Serbian state, and as an official state holiday it was introduced in 1889 on the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo.