Local Holidays - Red and golden Asian decorations hanging in local market
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How Do Locals Celebrate Major Holidays in Belgrade?

Belgrade, the vibrant capital of Serbia, is a city known for its rich history, lively atmosphere, and diverse cultural traditions. Throughout the year, locals in Belgrade come together to celebrate major holidays in unique and joyous ways that reflect the city’s dynamic spirit. From traditional customs to modern festivities, Belgrade offers a colorful tapestry of celebrations that showcase the warmth and hospitality of its people.

**Orthodox Christmas**

One of the most significant holidays in Belgrade is Orthodox Christmas, celebrated on January 7th. While the city may not be as adorned with lights and decorations as during Western Christmas, the festive spirit is just as palpable. Locals gather with their families for a traditional Christmas Eve dinner, known as Badnje Veče, where they feast on roasted pork, beans, and various pastries. In the evening, many Belgraders head to the city’s churches for a midnight liturgy, followed by singing and dancing in the streets.

**Serbian New Year**

On January 14th, Serbians celebrate the Serbian New Year, known as Serbian Orthodox New Year’s Day. This holiday marks the beginning of the new year according to the Julian calendar and is a time for joyous gatherings and merriment. Belgrade’s streets come alive with music, fireworks, and street performances as locals ring in the new year with enthusiasm and optimism. Many people attend concerts and parties, while others opt for intimate gatherings at home with loved ones.


Easter is another major holiday in Belgrade, filled with religious significance and cultural traditions. The city’s Orthodox Christian population observes Holy Week with solemn processions and church services leading up to Easter Sunday. On Easter morning, families come together to enjoy a festive meal that typically includes roasted lamb, eggs, and sweet bread called pogača. Belgraders also participate in the tradition of “đuskanje,” where people greet each other by lightly tapping decorated eggs to see whose egg will crack first.

**Statehood Day**

February 15th marks Statehood Day in Serbia, a national holiday that commemorates the Serbian revolution against Ottoman rule in the early 19th century. Belgrade hosts various events and ceremonies to honor the country’s history and independence. Locals gather at historical sites, museums, and cultural institutions to pay tribute to Serbia’s past and celebrate its achievements. The day is filled with patriotic pride and unity, as people come together to reflect on the nation’s journey to sovereignty.

**Summer Festivals**

During the summer months, Belgrade transforms into a festival hub, with a wide array of events celebrating music, art, food, and culture. The city’s most popular summer festivals include EXIT Festival, Belgrade Beer Fest, and Belgrade Boat Carnival. These lively gatherings attract both locals and visitors, offering a unique opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant energy and creative spirit. From open-air concerts to food tastings and boat parades, Belgrade’s summer festivals cater to diverse interests and ensure a memorable experience for all who attend.


In Belgrade, major holidays are not just dates on the calendar; they are vibrant expressions of the city’s rich heritage and community spirit. Whether celebrating Orthodox Christmas with traditional rituals or ringing in the Serbian New Year with joyous festivities, locals in Belgrade come together to honor their culture and traditions in ways that are both meaningful and joyful. From religious observances to secular events, Belgrade’s holiday celebrations reflect the city’s dynamic character and the warmth of its people.

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