Cross-cultural exchange: Saint George’s day customs as a common heritage of Balkan nations

  • Aleksandra Terzić Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Vladimir Krivošejev Singidunum University
  • Željko Bjeljac Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Keywords: customs, intangible heritage, presentation, Balkan countries


Saint George is one of the most popular Christian saints throughout the world. There are numerous and quite diverse customs related to his celebrations. However, the most interesting and wide-spread customs integrated, largely into the national identification, are those traditionally practised among some of the Balkan nations. This research gives insight into such customs: ones that, in fact, represent a mixture of Christian and pagan religious rituals, folklore and tradition. Such ethnographic elements have always had an important role in tourism. Recent UNESCO initiatives for the registration of intangible heritage assets and their protection and presentation highlight the significance of this kind of heritage, indicating the necessity of its protection as something unique and of common interest.