Statehood Day or Candlemas Day: Ideology vs. Chronology

  • Srđan Milošević Institute for New serbian History Belgrade
Keywords:
Statehood day, Candlemas Day, holiday, ideology, Serbia

Abstract

The paper deals with the ideological and chronological issues concerning Statehood day, which is celebrated on the 15th and 16th of February in Serbia. The focus will be on the connection which is being established between the state holiday of Statehood day and Candlemas Day which is a church holiday. The paper will further deal with the problems with dating the two key events – the start of the First Serbian Uprising in 1804 and the adoption of the first Serbian Constitution in 1835 – which, according to the Serbian law on national and other holidays, form the basis for the celebrating of Statehood day. The paper will prove that it wasn’t necessary for the legislators to insist on establishing a connection between the aforementioned events and the date of the church holiday neither in the 19th nor in the 21st century. The author will also point out the significant errors in chronology: it is falsely claimed that the anniversaries of both these events coincide with Candlemas Day (in 1804 and 1835, respectively), and that it is hence unwarranted to claim that they coincide with Candlemas Day in the 21st century. It will be shown that the reason for these errors lies in the incorrect calculation and translation of dates from the Julian into the Gregorian calendar, as well as that the contemporary insistence on the connection between Statehood day and Candlemas Day is ideologically conditioned and that it is a consequence of the desecularization of Serbian society.

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Published
2012-10-25
How to Cite
Milošević, Srđan. 2012. “Statehood Day or Candlemas Day: Ideology Vs. Chronology”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 7 (4), 999-1015. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v7i4.6.