Romanian Festivals, holidays, Celebrations
Dragobete: this is Romania’s version of Valentine’s Day. We celebrate it on February 24th. Dragobete represents a local Cupid.
Martisorul- we celebrate the beginning of spring on March 1st. Martisor comes from the name of the month Martie (March). Martisorul is a red and white string from which a small decoration is tied we offer to our friends, colleagues, relatives. This talisman brings good luck.
This is one of the most important holidays Romanian people have. The night before Easter people go to church and bring the Sacred Light. They light their candles from the sacred light of the priests. The light symbolizes peace and good luck. Moreover, people paint the eggs in different colors (mostly in red which symbolizes the color of Jesus’ blood). People use leaves of onion in order to create different models on the eggs.
This represents the most popular holiday Romanian people celebrate between 24th December to 27th December. We celebrate the birth of Jesus by singing carols: “In Vitleem town”, “Today Christ is borne”, “The three magicians from East”. The Christmas meal is special. We have many pork specialties: “racitura” (from pork trotters), “toba”, “caltabos”, sausages , “sarmale”. Santa Clause is also coming. On December 6th there is Saint Nicolas’ Day. Saint Nicolas represents the messenger of the winter holidays. The legend says that Saint Nicolas comes the night before 6 th December and he puts sweets, fruits and small gifts in childrens’ boots. Saint Nicolas is considered to be the cousin of Santa Clause.
Christmas is not all about carols. Romanians have also a magnificent custom. They go with the Star in order to remind people about the star which, hundreds and hundreds of years ago symbolized Jesus Christ’s birth. That star helped the three magicians find the way to the house where He was born. Romanians make a star of coloured glossy paper which children carry in the evening of Christmas from house to house, singing a recitative:
The Star is rising high,
Like a hidden mystery,
The Star shines brightly,
And to the world announces,
That today the pure,
The immaculate Virgin Mary,
Gives birth to Messiah,
In that famous city,
Known by the name of Bethlehem.
New Year’s Eve
On the New Year’s Eve children have small bells and sing different songs wishing people a happy new year. In return, they get apples, pies and money. The next morning they use a “sorcova”, which is a bouquet of colored paper flowers to wish people good luck in the New Year, health and richness. When children finish singing Sorcova, they throw some rice. This symbolizes good-luck. Hre is a part of Sorcova:
the merry sorcova,
Long may you live
To a hoary old age,
Long may you flourish,
Like pear trees,
Like apple trees,
In the big cities there are so many parties, concerts.
Medieval Festival – takes place in August at Sibiu, a famous city from Romania. Sibiu was declared the cultural capital of Europe in 2007. You have the chance to admire knights and princesses, musicians and dancers.
The Maidens Fair on Mount Gaina takes place on the closest Sunday to the 20th of July. The main idea is that the families with marriageable girls meet the families with boys and arrange potential weddings. People wear national costumes, sing, dance and, why not… fall in love.