Christmas traditions in the Northern Romania
The Christmas holidays awake in everyone a very peaceful feeling, transposing the people back into an archaic atmosphere.
Starting from mid-December, in villages people will prepare the songs they will sing in the Christmas Eve and will decorate the Christmas tree while listening to carols. In old times, for decorating the tree, they were using apples and walnuts instead of the globes that we use nowadays. Christmas holidays last for one week, until New Year Eve and then continue with it another week. All this time, the lights never go out and the carols can be heard in every house.
Following the tradition, the children are the first to go to proclaim the Savior’s birth, receiving in return walnuts (representing the cosmic egg) and apples (which represent the fruit of knowledge). Recently, they are also regarded with money.
Except for singing carols, the people will also play representative scenes from Jesus’s birth, which are meant to scare the bad spirits that, otherwise, will come once with the new year. Some of these plays are:‘Viflaimul’, ‘Irozii’, ‘Capra’, ‘Turca’, ‘Brezaia’.
Of great importance for the people living in this ancestral place are the superstitions! Some of the most important Christmas superstitions are:
- On Christmas day, one can not broom (because it will broom the luck out of the house), do the laundry (same, will wash the luck away) or give things away (to not become victims of thiefs in the following year);
- There is the belief that those who cry on Christmas Eve will have many sad moments in the next year;
- On Christmas Eve and the day after, everyone needs to wash their hands and face in a bowl with warm water (so their attitude towards the others will be warm all the next year), an egg which needs to be painted in red (so their face will be red and they will be healthy) and a coin (so they will have money the whole next year)
- If you dream of green wheat before Christmas it’s a good sign, so the year to come will be a wealthy one.
- On Christmas Eve children have to eat pumpkin so they grow strong;
- During all the Christmas Holidays, it is desirable that first person that enters in someone’s house (in the morning) must be a man and not a women or a girl, people believing that girls will bring bad luck, while the guys bring good luck.
This being said (well, written 😉 ), I consider it necessary to inform you about, probably, the most important fact about this Romanian region: the Northern Romanians are well known for their friendship and love they show to others and for their warm welcoming towards their guests.
Text by Iuliana Pasca (Julie)