Tuesday, September 11, 2007


MARTISORUL(1 martie)

Is the traditional celebration of the beginning of the spring in Romania and Moldova,on 1 March.The day’s name is the diminutive of March(in Romanian lang. Martie),and this means something like “little”or “dear March”.In this day,men offer women a talisman object also called Martisor,consisting of a jewel or a small decoration like a flower,an animal etc …tied to a red and white string.However,giving a little nickel tied to a red and white string is an old custom and was originally designated for both men and women.It was believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be powerfull and healthy for the year to come.The decoration is a symbol of the coming spring.A women wears it pinned to her blouse on this day and up to two weeks after.Occasionally ,women also give such gifts to men.In some parts of Romania such as Moldova or Bucovina the symbol of spring was a gold or silver medal which was worn around the neck.After wearing the coin for twelve days,they bought sweet cheese with the medal,because it was believed that their faces would remain beautiful and white the entire year.


Dans la mythologie roumaine,Dragobetele represente un personage celebre,fils de Baba Dochia.Les rites de Dragobete sont similaires au jour de Saint-Valentin en occident,mais est de moins en moins suivie de nos jours.


It’s the celebration of the 40martyrs who sacrifice their lives for Jesus’learning.
For this celebration,40knot-shaped breads are baked,also called “martyrs,being given for charity in the name of the dead.


This feast does not have a fixed date, being kept a week before Easter. The name of “Florii” reminds Jesus’ entering in Jerusalem , when the people welcomed Him with blossomed branches of willow tree and palm tree. At the same time, this name is linked to the Romans’ pagan feast Floralia, organized for Flora goddess who reigned over all the flowers and announced the spring . On the Palm Sunday, people take care of their souls, confessing their sins and receiving the eucharist, and take care of their dead, too, by making alms and cleaning the tombs . In Romania , people pick up willow branches for this feast. According to the tradition, when Virgin Mary wanted to cross a river, a willow tree bended over the water to help Her cross easier. Then, Virgin Mary blessed the willow tree, foredooming it to never become ember and to be brought to the church every year. With these holy branches people go home and touch their children, in order to grow harmoniously, then they put the branches at the icons and above the doors. The branches put at the icon are kept the whole year and are used as remedies against the bad that could harm their house and family. In some regions of the country, on the Palm Sunday morning, a group of children, holding willow branches, sing the Palm Sunday carol. The carol is sung at the host’s window, and after they finish singing, the children put willow branches at the window and receive money and eggs in exchange. The Saturday before the Palm Sunday is dedicated to the commemoration of the dead. This day is also called “Mosii de Florii” or “Lazarul”; women usually bake pies, which they give for charity. It is also the name day for the people who wear the name of Florin , Florina, Floarea, Florentina but also for the ones whose names represent flowers. It is good to plant trees on this day, but not earlier, so that they easier grow and bear fruit It is said that the weather on the Easter Sunday will be as it is on the Palm Sunday.


Easter, the most important feast of the orthodox Christians, is the feast of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection .At the singular, the “pasca” designates a very thin un-leavened bread, which is baked for this feast, and also the Eucharist bread soaked in wine, given by the priest at the divine service on the Resurrection Sunday .For the Catholics and Protestants, this feast does not have a fixed date, taking place between the 22nd of March and the 25th of April. The Easter is established in the first Sunday after the full moon preceding the spring equinox (21st of March). There is an interesting connection between the Christians’ Easter and the Jewish feast “Pesach”. The Pesach is a very important feast in the Judaic calendar, which lasts eight days and celebrates the Israelites’ liberation from Egypt ’s occupation. The orthodox Easter is celebrated at the same time as the Jewish Pesach. The Easter period is favourable to many archaic rites: before sunset, the young bathe in a river in order to liberate from magic and be successful in the future .According to the popular belief, during the liturgy, those who wash with water where red eggs have been put, will be protected from diseases. It is also good to wear new clothes at the divine service in the Resurrection night The un-burnt part of the candle lit during the Easter service has magical powers and is re-lit in case of danger Romania takes pride in the skill of Easter eggs dying, a very complex and meticulous technique known in the world under the name of Psanki One of the numerous Easter customs is announcing Jesus’ Resurrection by the boys at the girls’ houses; in exchange of their greetings, they receive “cozonac” (“sponge cake”) and red eggs In the villages and communes from the north of Suceava various sweets are prepared for the occasion, such as “Babele” (made of “cozonac”, baked in special shapes, filled with nuts, Turkish delight and raisins). The “Babele” are brought to the Resurrection service to be blessed. After the end of the service, the believers go the cemetery, with their candles lit, to bring light to the people gone to the eternal life. These cakes will be given to the poor. In the Bucovina region, in the Resurrection night, girls go to the steeple and wash the bell’s tongue with spring water. With this water they will wash their face early in the Easter day, so as to be beautiful the whole year In Campulung Moldovenesc region, at Sunday’s dawn, the believers go out in the church’s yard, carrying the lit candles, waiting for the priest to bless the food in the paschal basket. This basket contains the symbols of joy for the entire year: poppy seeds (they will be thrown into the river in order to cast out the draught), salt (will be kept to bring wealth), sugar (used when the cattle will be sick), flour (for rich wheat), onion and garlic (with role of protection against insects), Easter cake, bacon, cheese, red eggs, but also the dyed eggs, money, flowers, smoked fish, red beet with horseradish, and cakes. After the blessing of this paschal basket, the Easter ritual continues in the family. Before eating, every member of the family “washes” his face with a red egg to be healthy, then with money to have money the whole year, and finally - with flowers, to stay beautiful. In Maramures, in Lapusului region, on the first day of Easter, children go to their friends and neighbours to announce Jesus’ Resurrection. The host gives a red egg to every child. Before leaving, the children thank for the gift and wish “Happy Easter” to the householders. At this feast, so as not to be discord in the house during the rest of the year, a boy must firstly pass the doorstep. In Banat region, at breakfast on the first day of Easter, the food is incensed. Then, everybody receives a spoonful of “pasti” (blessed wine and bread). The menu of this festive meal includes boiled pork bone, white eggs, traditional food and lamb steak. On the Easter Sunday it is not good to sleep, because otherwise people will be lazy the whole year; duties are not paid, people do not borrow things; the borrowed things must be returned before the feast At Easter, the dead are reminded; the Heaven’s Door is open and the souls of the dead are allowed to spend a period of time in Heaven The Easter period is adequate for the love spell, and living ghosts can be recognized.


The feast doesn’t have a fixed date, taking place every 50 days after Easter “Rusaliile” are mythical beings, similar to the fairies, but older and uglier, which fly, sing and dance at the fountain, at crossroads and in glades and punish those who don’t celebrate them In the “Rusalii” week, people should not work, so as to be protected from dangers On the day before, people put wormwood, lovage or garlic on the bed, the roof of the house or at the door, so as to be protected from danger The “Rusalii” have a strong connection to the dead, which are allowed to visit heaven and their families in the period between Easter and “Rusalii” For the souls of the dead, people give red eggs and milk for charity .


This feast coincides to the summer solstice and is considered the day of birth of St. John the Baptizer .According to the Romanian folk tradition, the “sanziene” are fairies of the night, who have the power to influence future marriages .In this night, huge purifying fires are also lit and healing herbs are gathered.

SF.NICOLAE(6th of December)

It is the first of the winter’s feasts .In the Romanian tradition, St. Nicholas appears on a white horse – sign of the first snow – and guards the Sun, so that the world should not be deprived of light and warmth .He continues the activity of Poseidon, Neptune and Hermes, being one of the most important saints .He is responsible for the waters; he ended the flood. He is the protector of the seamen whom he saves from drowning, of the unhappy – widows, orphans – and of the poor girls. At the same time, he helps the merchants and even the thieves .He is generous, bringing presents to the children, whom he also punishes with the switch, when they are bad and naughty. The role of family protector gives him the right to interfere in this way in the children’s education .His icon is worn as amulet.


Voila une petite description de ce qui se passé en Roumanie a l’occasion des fetes d’hiver.Cette fete a garde toute sa tradition religieuse at son folklore.L’arbre de Noel este decore avec des noix,des marrons,des noisettes,des bonbons et chocolates emballes dans du papier colore et des pommes.Le sapin est conserve jusqu’a la Jean-debut janvier. Apres avoir decore le sapin les enfants partent dans leur quartier ou village,pour chanter de maison en maison.Ils s’appellent des “colindatori”.Ces chants de Noel sont toujours de caractere religieux et annonce la nativite du bebe Jesus Christ.De porte en porte,ils recoivent selon la tradition soit des gros bretzels,des beignets,des bonbons,des pommes,soit de l’argent.Ensuite ils vont a l’eglise pour participer a la messe de la Nativite.Les petits vont dormer en attendant la venue du Pere Noel.


The fast means renouncing meat, eggs and milk. A real fast means renouncing physical love, drink and people must pay all their duties and return the borrowed objects. In the villages, people don’t turn on their radios and TV-sets and don’t party. The Orthodox have 4 great fasts: the Lent – lasts 7 weeks; the Fast of St. Apostles Peter and Paul – lasts 3 weeks (7-28 of June); the Fast of the Assumption of the Virgin – lasts 2 weeks (1-14 of August); the Advent – lasts 6 weeks (15th of November-24th of December) .

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