Croatia: A Sylvester’s Day Tradition

A different perspective on New Year

Croatia, the War, and the Future

While to many in the world New Year’s Eve, is New Year’s Eve; to Croats it is Sylvester’s Day (“Silvestrovo”) – the feast day of St Sylvester (Pope Sylvester I, 314-335 A.D.); a Thanksgiving day. In fact, in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Slovenia, New Years Eve is still referred to as Silvester.

Pope Sylvester I is not as well known as many other Popes but Christians owe a great deal to give thanks to him. His Papacy is of special importance because it was during Sylvester I’s papacy that saw the end of terrible and long-standing persecutions of Christians. And so, Sylvester I was that Pope who, after decades of fear and horror, came to a new and a happy beginning.

A very fitting symbolism for 31st December, when we all wish for a happy New Year.

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