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Belgrade »Beograd | 65 bonfires in front of the churches declare loudly: “how many sparks, that muchmoney, happiness, love, harmony...” Christmas liturgy services are performed at allOrthodox churches inBelgradeonChristmasDaymorning at 9am. It isn’t difficult for tourists to choose the right place, which is why everyone rushes to Vračar and the Temple of St. Sava. Not only because they have an opportunity to feel part of the joy of this great Christianholiday, but also toadmire this largest Orthodox church in the Balkans and the fifth largest worldwide. Gold sparkles before the eyes of the observing visitors, symbolising divine light. Millions of small cobalt glass tiles formmosaics that spread over 15,000 square metres of the vaulted ceiling, combining to depict the likenesses of saints. The biblical story runs backwards, all the way to the Creation of the world. Themost impressive area of the interior is themain altar of four, dedicated to Saint Sava, the founder of the SerbianOrthodox Church, above whom towers Christ Pantocrator, the Almighty, occupying the central spot of the dome and surrounded by a blue mosaic representing the sky. The refraction of light fromthe chandeliers, the temple’s hanging candelabras, creates the impression that the saints are moving. The scene is both real and surreal... The perfect place to celebrate Christmas or observe others doing so. Skiing, sledging and skating Let Belgrade’s roads lead you further, all the way to Košutnjak, especially if there has already been abundant snowfall. Countless forest trails, oftenwith steep descents, provide an exclusive opportunity for off-piste sledging. This area also boasts the only ski run in Belgrade, which has a long tradition. Extending over the northern side of Košutnjak, it includes a 300-metre-long slope at an altitude of 274 metres/asl.The ski run is known for providing themost beautiful views of the new Ada Bridge, the neighbourhoods of Careva ćuprija and Senjak, as well as a good part of Belgrade. Of course, the youngest will use this slope to descend on their sledges, which is an unforgettable experience on Košutnjak. Fans of open-air ice skating won’t be left wanting in Belgrade either, as the city has a diverse offer – with skating rinks on Republic Square, at Tašmajdan Stadium, within the Olimp-Zvezdara Sports Centre and on Ada Ciganlija. Each Božićna liturgija služi se po svim beogradskim pravoslavnim crkvama, jutro posle Badnje večeri Christmas liturgy services are performed at all Orthodox churches in Belgrade on Christmas Day morning has its own advantages. Everything is within easy reach from Republic Square: museums, cafes, restaurants, galleries. Tašmajdan is one of the city’s most popular parks and boasts an array of cafes and restaurants. Olimp is located on the periphery of Zvezdara Forest, where you’ll really get the impression that you could touch the stars as you walk along the forest lanes between densely packed trees. Serbian New Year and the Epiphany Serbian New Year provides yet another opportunity for joy, music and celebration in the city centre, with the beginning of the new year commemorated at midnight between 13th and 14th January. The City of Belgrade also organises this great festivity, and is doing so this year at two locations: at the traditional site in front of the SerbianNational Assembly; but also on the Sava Promenade, beside the river, so there will be music to suit all tastes. Rivers and lakes also become real venues for celebration during the marking of the Feast of the Epiphany on 19th January. It is then that many believers brave the icy waters to swim for the Holy Cross. This day memorialises the baptismof Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, announcing his manifestation as the Son of God, and in Belgrade people wanting to swimfor theHoly Cross head for Ada Ciganlija’s Lake Sava, the Danube in Zemun or Očaga Lake in Lazarevac. Ada Ciganlija is a story in its own right – just as beautiful as ever under snow, with the calm, slightly undulating waters of the lake. Contributing to the fairy-tale ambience is the Stone City, or Belgrade's Stonehenge, as locals affectionately refer to RatkoVulanović’s giant sculptures. However, as soon as you cross the Sava main road, you will immediately find yourself in a large shopping centre with innumerable offers. There’s simply no end to the joys of Belgrade... Foto:RajkoRIstić R itam grada / Rhythm of the city