A sort of ceck-point marks one of the entrances of the Roma settlement in Kraljevo, Serbia. The days before St. George's day (urevdan in serbian, Ederlezi in Romani), which falls the 6th of May, all the families prepare to celebrate one of the greatest day for the whole Roma community.
About the project
A woman is waiting to unload supplies from the van just arrived from Kraljevo. During Ederlezi celebrations people are wheeling and dealing to organize parties and banquets, a lot of money passes from hand to hand in the community.
A boy and a girl walk the main street of the settlement
A couple dancing in the courtyard of their neighbou
Collection of flowers and branches during Ederlezi occurs as a kind of festive procession, dancing and singing together. Among the different initiatives recently promoted by the Serbian government for the integration of Roma communities, the Ministry of Culture and Information financed few projects and supported the celebration of Djurdjevdan/Ederlezi as an identifying characteristic of the Roma community.
The celebrations contemplate that the whole settlement move in procession to the river thruogh narrow dirt tracks, either by car or
Children playing in a courtyard while adults are arranging the banquet for the party
A young girl running home after collecting fresh flowers and branches as a sign of good luck
The tradition wants that every family kills a lamb as a sign of prosperity, which is then roasted the next day and offered to everyone who wants to sit at the table.
People dancing traditional songs
A young man after taking the propitiatory bath in the river
A family gathers at their house. Someone is resting, someone is adorning the fence and someone else has just finished cleaning the car. Everything should be at its best for Ederlezi. The more you have, the more you have to show. Roma who can afford them, indeed, will invest much of their money in new and expensive cars or caravans. Prosperity displayed in this way is also considered honourable and a token of good fortune.
The day preceding the festival, the whole settlement of Kraljevo is in turmoil. However, despite every family is busy with the feast preparations, there is always someone who continue to carry out the daily chores.
A girl playing alone in the land outside the settlement
As families and communities gather for Ederlezi, people start to set the table with all sorts of things to eat and drink, in relation to what they can afford. Alcohol never fails. Then they to exhibit themselves singing folk songs. Like many Romani festivals and events, music plays a significant part with lots of dancing and singing
Families 'assaulting' the van coming from the city carrying every kind of supply for the party
After the family man has slaughtered the lamb, the women go up and down the street to wash the blood throwing buckets of water.
Roma in Serbia have long been regarded as inhospitable or even dangerous. The lacunae between the actual cultures of the Roma and the ways in which they are perceived makes them more often rejected by society. Actually, generosity is considered honorable and a display of hospitality by offering food and gifts is a proper way to celebrate friendship. Everyone is ready to share what he has, expecially during Ederlezi.
The roasting of the lamb is an important moment for the families, which gathers together around the fire. According to gipsy traditions, however, everyone who wants to join is welcome.
children from the poorest families playing with animals near the settlement dump
At sunset young girls are running home from the river with their branches and wretches recently prepared for the feast.