Mladenci – a holiday of young married couples, love, loyalty and mladenčići cakes

Историја и култура Срба кроз вековеУченици из дијаспоре
22 Mar 2023

Customs, beliefs, mladenčići cakes and holiday symbolism

There is a custom related to the Mladenci day, the newlyweds, who got married that year, celebrate the holiday and bake cakes called mladenčići. The symbolism of the holiday is reflected in the fact that the newlyweds should provide each other with fidelity, loyalty, love and self-sacrifice, just as the martyrs did for Jesus Christ. Regardless of all the problems, trials and difficulties that they will encounter in life, it is important that the spouses do not give up on love.

Custom dictates that on Mladenci day, the young married couple welcomes guests and celebrates the holiday. Before the feast, mladenčići are kneaded – forty cookies made of wheat flour that are coated with honey. The symbolism of coating the newlyweds with honey is clear – it expresses the wish that the married life of the newlyweds will be sweet, honeyed, harmonious, long and happy.

There are beliefs that you should not eat anything young before the Mladenci day, and on the Mladenci day you should eat nettles and other greens, in order to cleanse the blood. Also, on this day it is necessary for the newlyweds to fast, considering that the Easter fast is in progress.


Recipe for cookies – mladenčići

600 grams of soft flour;
2 spoons of oil;
1 dry yeast;
300 milliliters of lukewarm water;
2 spoons of sugar;


Dissolve one yeast in three hundred milliliters of lukewarm water, add two spoons of sugar and mix. Separately sift six hundred grams of soft flour, add two tablespoons of oil and half a teaspoon of salt. Add yeast and water to the dry ingredients. Knead the dough until it is elastic, then let it rest for thirty minutes. After the dough has rested, roll it out to 0.5 cm thick. Take out forty cookies with a small glass, coat them with oil and prick the cookies with a branch of a flowering fruit tree, for the sake of health. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200 °C. Coat the baked cookies with honey. If desired, sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Enjoy!

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The author of the text ” Mladenci – a holiday of young married couples, love, loyalty and mladenčići cakes” is Jovana Jaćimović, an online lecturer of the Serbian language of the Academic Serbian Association, the only accredited school for learning the Serbian language in online classes. Sign up for a free first trial lesson and learn with us. See you!