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|Observed by||ethnic Serbs
(Serbian Orthodox Christians)
|Significance||Veneration of St. Vitus|
|Observances||Feast day (Slava)|
|Date||June 28 Gregorian Calendar
June 15 Julian Calendar)
Vidovdan (Serbian Cyrillic: Видовдан) is a Serbian religious holiday, St. Vitus Day, whose feast is on June 28 (Gregorian Calendar), or June 15 according to the Julian Calendar, in use by the Serbian Orthodox Church. Also, Serbian Orthodox Church is designated 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.
The feast day is sacred to ethnic Serbs (Serbian Orthodox Christians), who transformed the pagan Slavic god (deity) of war, fertility and abundance "Svetovid" (Vid) into the Sicilian martyr (St. Vitus) - who exorcised the evil out of Diocletian's son, at the time of the final Christianization of the Serbs during the rule of Basil I (867–886) by Byzantine missionaries of Constantinople Cyril and Methodius.
Through the centuries, Serbian historical events such as the Battle of Kosovo became sources for spiritual strength and patriotism. It was not a coincidence that Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Vidovdan, triggering the First World War.
Vidovdan has long been considered a date of special importance to ethnic Serbs and in the Balkans, with the following events each taking place on Vidovdan, but are expressed here in the Gregorian calendar:
- on June 28, 1389, according to the Serbian Orthodox religious tradition, and the Serbian romantic (19th century) national identity founding myth, the Ottoman Empire defeats Serbia in the Battle of Kosovo with Prince Lazar slain in battle. Ottoman Sultan Murad I is killed by Serbian knight Miloš Obilić on that day.
- on June 28, 1881, a secret treaty between Austria-Hungary and Serbia is signed with Serbia earning the right to be recognized as a monarchy in exchange of surrendering its independence to the Habsburg Empire.
- on June 28, 1914 the assassination by Gavrilo Princip of the Austro-Hungarian crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, triggers the First World War.
- on June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles is signed ending World War I.
- on June 28, 1921, the Serbian King Alexander I proclaims the new Constitution of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, known thereafter as the Vidovdan Constitution (Vidovdanski ustav).
- on June 28, 1948, the Cominform publishes, on the initiative of its Soviet delegates Zhdanov, Malenkov and Suslov, in a "Resolution on the State of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia" their condemnation of the Yugoslavian communist leaders - this event is seen as the turning point that marks the final split between Stalin's Soviet Union and Tito's Yugoslavia.
- on June 28, 1989, on the 600th anniversary of the battle of Kosovo, Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević delivers the Gazimestan speech on the site of the historic battle.
- on June 28, 1990, an amendment is brought to the Constitution of Croatia changing the status of Serbs from constituent people (konstitutivni narod) of the Croatian nation to national minority.
- on June 28, 2001, Slobodan Milošević is deported to the ICTY to stand trial.
- on June 28, 2006, Montenegro is announced as the 192nd member state of the United Nations.
- on June 28, 2008 takes place the inaugural meeting of the Community Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija.
- Ivanova, Radost. "Vidovden among the Bulgarians and Serbs" (in Bulgarian). Projekat Rastko Bugarska. Retrieved 2006-06-28.