The celebration of the patron saint of the city dates back to the foundation of the city.
The patron saint of the city is Holy Trinity, more precisely Whit Monday. In addition to his ascension into heaven, the Lord Jesus promised his apostles that he would send the Holy Spirit, who will enlighten them and learn how to preach the teachings of the Gospel. He fulfilled his promise on the 50th day of his resurrection, as a result the holiday is called Pentecost. It was on Sunday, about 9 o’clock. In the room where the apostles had gathered, there was noise as if wind had been blowing, while over each of the apostles there appeared flame in the form of language, therefore they get the gift from Holy Spirit to speak different languages. As a result, this holiday is called the Ghosts (Pentecost).
The Jews celebrated their holiday Pentecost. In front of the temple the apostle Peter in the name of all the Apostles, uttered his first sermon about the resurrected Christ, and called the people to be baptized as a sign of reconciliation with God, and in order to be forgiven their sins. Thus, the Church of Christ, as the association of people who believe in Christ, started working during Pentecost in Jerusalem, the first such celebration after Christ’s resurrection. It is the parent company of Christ's Church. About three thousand souls were baptized in Jerusalem that day. That was the beginning of the history of the Christian church.
Sunday after Holy Trinity was widely known as the Sunday of urban and rural processions. After World War II urban processions were abolished, so that only exercised procession was held around the Church and God’s acre.
In 1992 urban processions were introduced again. The procession stops in the central park, in front of the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in order for the prayer to be read in front of the tree inscription opposite the Monument.
How Serbs mark the celebration of their patron saints?
This ancient Christian holy tradition of celebrating God and the glory of God in the world, the Orthodox Serbs have received from St Cyril and Methodius and Saint Sava. That is the reason why each week and each holiday we celebrate Christ, our God and Savior and His Blessed Mother, the holy angels and saints of God. We celebrate them together with the whole Church of God, in our parish and temple when our parish Church or our monastery celebrates our patronal feast, that is their Saints as their patron, who are celebrated by all Orthodox Christians in the world on the same day.
It is therefore the celebration of our own patron saints for which our people rightly say : ‘ If you celebrate your own patron saint, it will bring you a good fortune’. The celebration of our own patron saint, which is celebrated in every house and family (unless a person renounced his belief in Christ, awakes in us and our souls the memory of the day when we were all baptized and became Christians. Celebrating our own patron saints, we celebrate the feast of Church and temples at the same time, thus being our mutual Holy Celebration.
And when we celebrate our own patron saints at home, we do not celebrate it only at home by ourselves, but first with other Orthodox Christians in Church, on our mutual Divine service, Holy Liturgy, where all God’s angels and saints are present and where all the living and the dead are mentioned. And again in our house we do not celebrate it by ourselves but together with our family, neighbors, relatives and friends and every passer-by sent by God, who comes to our house on that day, even if he were a beggar. Since he, as every other man, represents the image of God and our brother. That day is also called the birthday of Christ’s Church, as an organized community of people who believe in Jesus Christ.
Christianity, as an organized Church is the oldest human organization on earth! Across Minor Asia, Egypt and Greece, Christianity was spread into all parts of the world, especially since 1937 when the Jewish started to kill Christians, so while fleeing from Jerusalem passed on the Christianity sermon to other regions, even out of Palestines. Holy Trinity is celebrated on 50th day from Easter.
Hence, the celebration of patron saint as general Christian and religious worship of God and saints, is not only a Serbian custom since all other Orthodox people in the world have celebrations of their patron saints.
However, Serbian Holy Father equal to the apostles left Serbs a special home celebration, that is he blessed our Serbian family celebrations of patron saints: Every Serbian family and household should celebrate the Saint on whose day our forefathers became Christians and were baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity.
The customs of people from Leskovac
Koleda customs (during Christmas) take place from 2. to 6. January. The procession wearing masks went from house to house. The goal was to bless progress and prosperity in every house. This custom takes place in the village Rudare, where only children go, not adults.
One of the city customs is ‘combing the future bride’. It is a wedding custom performed on Thursday. The action takes place in the house of the bride. This ceremony is attended by women only (only musicians can be male). On that occasion all the gifts that the bride needs for the wedding are brought. Friends and the women that will not be invited to the wedding are invited to this ceremony. Pastry, cakes and drinks are served during the celebration.