Yes. No. 2.
May 6 on the Eastern Orthodox (Julian) calendar is the equivalent of April 23 on the Gregorian (western) calendar. Same saint – two different dates. You can see both icons on the walls of our home at the Rainbow Shower in Maui.
Ever since 2008, I have been celebrating St George’s Day as my second “Slava” (Saint-protector Day). But it was not until St Nicholas Day on Dec 19, 2015, my first Slava, that I found out why. “Djurdjevdan,” or St George’s Day, was my maternal Bogdanovic family’s Slava, my elder sister told me as she called from Serbia to wish me a Happy St Nicholas Day Slava.
The reason I was guided to start celebrating St George’s Day in 2008 had a lot more to do with my spiritual awakening and becoming a Shaman than it did with the Orthodox faith. So it was a wonderful “bonus” to learn six months ago that there was also a strong familial reason for it.
Eight years ago, I had an opportunity for the first time to participate in St George Day celebrations in Belgrade. First, I went to a 9AM service at the Saborna (Congregational) Church. Churches frown at photos being taken inside, but I figured St. George would not mind it if I tried to educate some of my worldwide friends about him and this special day
Second, I was invited to a St. George celebration at the Serbian Medical Society building in George Washington Street in Belgrade. It turns out St. George is the patron of the Serbian doctors, as well as of the whole country, since the medical society was formed on this day in the 19th century.
After a private tour of the facility, I attended my second St. George’s service of the day. This time, it was performed by Archbishop Atanasije on the steps of the Medical Society’s building. This archbishop was one of several I was introduced to when I was meeting the late Serbian Patriarch Pavle during my many wartime visits to Belgrade. But this was the first time he and I had an opportunity for a private chat.
During his sermon, Archbishop Atanasije spoke lovingly of the Roman war soldier George who was loved by his troops as well as his superiors, both for his courage and his wisdom.
“But what set him apart from other men was his sense of timing,” said His Grace. “He chose exactly the right moment when he would have the maximum impact on his people to declare himself a Christian publicly, in front of his troops. And for that, he suffered terribly. But not only did he endure all the tortures, he rejoiced while it was happening. Only a man imbued with the Spirit of God could have done that.”
For more, see… DJURDJEVDAN 2008 IN BELGRADE
PART OF ST GEORGE’S DAY SERVICE BY ARCHBISHOP ATANASIJE IN BELGRADE, SERBIA (May 6, 2008)
I also spent some time inside, where a procession of St. George celebrants were saying their prayers and offering their respects to the Patron Saint. That’s where you can also see a crypt of the Serbian Czar Dusan (1355) who was the ruler of the country before the Ottoman conquest. At the time, Serbia was one of the most powerful empires in Europe (late 14th century).
And so with that personal note, once again, Happy Djurdjevdan! (St George’s Day).
DJURDJEVIC FAMILY HISTORY
As for the DJURDJEVIC family history, that’s what my 2oo8 trip to Serbia and Montenegro – the Djurdjevic Mountain was about – visiting the mountain where my ancestors had lived for about 300 years (between the late 1300s and late 1600s, before migrating northward toward Belgrade -see the maps).
Before the 1300s, the Djurdjevic’s were the nobles with properties in the area of today’s southern Macedonia-northern Greece, near Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. In fact, I discovered several years later that I had been Philip II of Macedon in one of my past lives, the father of Alexander. And my father in this lifetime, Jovan, was back then my son – Alexander the Great.
But I had not known any of that back in May 2008 when I arrived at the Djurdjevic Mtn in Montenegro. What I did know is that, when I was a kid visiting my father’s homestead in Srem, just west of Belgrade, I’d heard that the local villagers nicknamed us”the Greeks.” I never knew why until I did this genealogical research a quarter century ago.
Shortly after that, in June 1990, I visited the Djurdjevic Mtn and the Djurdjevica Tara river (above right) with my family for the first time (see the photos with my daughters).
I had only been there one more time, in 1994, during one of my wartime trips through Bosnia. My escorts and I crossed the border from Bosnia into Montenegro in the vicinity of the Djurdjevic Mtn. So I just could not pass up the opportunity of stopping by, even just for a few minutes (right photo).
Back to 2008, this time, it was not just a casual visit. There are certain rites that I needed to perform on “my mountain.” So it would not get “jealous” of my new patrons in the Andes.
For more, see… ANSWERING A MOUNTAIN CALL – http://yinyangbob.com/Photos/Europe5_08/Montenegro2.html
UPDATE APRIL 23, 2018
Today, Apr 23, is the Al-Khadir Day, also celebrated as St. George’s Day in the West, a saint-protector of both England and (the ancient) Serbia, as I found out during the first three months of fairly intensive research into the matter.
Ten years ago today, after this realization. I celebrated this day as my second Slava for the first time. As I discovered only last year from my elder sister, Saint George’s Day . “Djurdjevdan” in Serbian – was also my maternal-Bogdanovic family’s Slava.
For more about that first celebration, see…
PS: Al-Khadir, a.k.a. the Green Man, and St. George, and the Great Spirit that he represents on this planet, to whom I was let by Heather, an Inca Shaman in Sedona, helped me discover that my true “Slava” (Patron Saint Day) is today, Apr 23 (or May 6 on the Serbian Orthodox calendar – see below).
UPDATE APRIL 23, 2018
TODAY IS ALSO SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY AND ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH
And also another British royal prince’s birthday
On this day in 1564, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon. Shakespeare’s date of death was also April 23. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford theater three years before. when he died in 1616.
And now we can add the British royal son #2 to the list of the people born on Saint George’s day. The newborn arrived today at St Mary’s Hospital in London weighing in at eight pounds, seven ounces. He will be fifth in line to the throne, and is the sixth great-grandchild of 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth. The royal couple have not yet announced the baby boy’s name.
What are the odds of dying on one’s own birthday?
Well, statistically, it’s 1/365. Or you can add a fraction for leap years, too, if you want to split hairs. But the odds of a 20-year old dying on his/her birthday are quite different from that of a 60-year old.
Check out this 2012 TIME magazine article. Study: we’re most likely to die on our own birthday | https://wp.me/pRDsw-Dmq
Meanwhile, here’s a list of at least 12 reasonably well known people who have died on their birthdays: http://mentalfloss.com/article/21081/people-who-died-their-birthdays. I have singled out Ingrid Bergman and Hawaii’s King Kamehameha V among them.