Only six years subsequent to Petőfi’s disappearance, i.e. his death, in 1855 the Petőfireception took on in Serbian literature, when Jovan Jovanović Zmaj translated the poem A csárda romjai (Razorena čarda [The Ruins of the Inn]). From that point on, Petőfibecame part of Serbian literature as well: famous and popular, to such an extent that there was hardly a Serbian poet who would not engage in translating at least one of Petőfi’s poems. Sava Babić, who made an account of the Petőfitranslations published between 1855 and 1980, listed as many as 658 entries in his bibliography. Translating Petőfi’s poems, according to literary historians, “proved an outstanding bridge between the lives of the two neighbouring nations” (Nagy 1994).1 These poems substituted for what Serbian literature lacked-the Serbian folk epic poem. Towards the end of the 19th century, the reception of Petőfi’s poetry in Serbian literature virtually bloomed into a cult, namely because his poems of patriotic and social themes as well as his revolutionary poetry quite complied and were even consonant with the increasingly aggressive patriotism of the so-called New Serbian Youth (Nova omladina). In the second half of the 20th century, the receptive attitude towards his poetry waned significantly. The study looks into the characteristics and effects of the translations of Petőfi’s poetry from its ‘literary transfer,’ its receptive situation, up to the intensification of its popularity and folklorization. In fact, it analyzes the literary/cultural transfer which fulfilled certain needs and conjunctures, but which was surprisingly integrated into the Serbian literary tradition of the late 19th and early 20th century.