I read this article and I liked it so much. I now realize how my country can be seen through the eyes of a foreign person.
It’s simply incredible! Thank you, Nicole!
Check out my Christmas tree for this year and let me tell you few things about Christmas traditions in Romania…
To begin to, you must understand that this holiday is related to Santa Claus, singing carols, and eating of course:)
Like in any other country, we are decorating the Christmas tree, and in the night between 24 and 25th, Santa Claus is coming with gifts. On the other hand, another momentof joy for the kids is the carol singing (they can earn some money for sweets, toys, etc). So everything starts on the evening of 23rd of December when kids are singing a song called “‘Neatalus” (there is no such word in Romania) it’s an old laic song with the same meaning as “‘Buna dimineata la Mos ajun”(Good Morning, Old Cristmas Eve) whish is sang in the morning of 24th.
On the evening of 24 th, the kids go out singing carols, and after the Christmas they go and sing another song, called “‘Steaua'” (The Star”‘). They actually have an object like that and go from home to home to spread the news that Jesus was born. Other songs and traditions: before the new year, boys and men go with “”Plugusorul”‘ and ”Plugul” (the plow), with “‘Capra” (the goat) and with with masks.
The scene is quite scary for the kids, and quite interesting to watch for adults because the masked people come with: whips, firecrackers and bells. Here’s some pictures:
It’s important to say that Romanian people have kept a lot of secular traditions which now are integrated alongside with the christian traditions, that’s why the meanings are much deeper and not even us know all the stories. We have a saying that everybody needs an old men to tell all the stories.
The small sweet fish (carp, sardines,caras(is this a word in english?:))) eaten with creamy polenta and garlic sauce called “mujdei” is easy to make, “light” and delicious. As probably all traditional Romanian dishes, is also very cheap.
For example 8 sardines cost 8 RON /1.8 euros/$2.5, polenta is made from corn tassel (1kg costs 3 RON/0.75 euro/$1) and garlic (1 garlic flower costs 1RON/ 0.25euro/ $0.33).
If we make a small total, a meal for 2 which is ready in less than 30 minutes will only cost you 12 rON/ 2.80 euros/ $3.83.
Straight from the Apuseni mountains of Romania, last summer we have gathered 5kg of blueberries!!! It was an adventure going hiking, enjoying the extraordinary vistas and why not, eat some blackberries. There were everywhere! So we couldn’t just pass them …next step, gathering for 2 hours enough to make a great BIO jam.
Ingredients: blackberries from the mountains, slices of 1 lemon, and some sugar (around 3kg max).
What I love about Romania? Well, one of the things I love most and this dates of course from my childhood..green wallnuts, or let’s say the core but when the walnuts are still green in the trees.
How you obtain the great thing? You simply take a knife and carve the core out of the walnut peel it and eat it. It’s great!If you don’t have such young fruit, you just take a hammer, like I did, and just break the nut, take out the core thing..and eat!
seasoned with red organic wine made from grapes straight from your own private garden..I would call it a night!
P.S. Most people like the green nuts jam as it is considered a delicacy in Romania. It looks like this and you will find recipes all over the blogosphere..
Starting April, the wedding season in Romania is ON, and it will end only at the end of October…if not even November. As I haver recently participated at 2 weddings myself, let me tell you about Romanian wedding traditions as they are a lot and quite nice.
So it is said that the future groom has to go and ask for the bride’s hand from her parents, and only after their consent he has to buy the ring and propose to her. In our days, this part is skipped and the groom asks directly the girl. If she says yes, then the next step is to find the future spiritual parents, the Godmother and the Godfather.
The young couple traditionally has to go with some gifts to the future spiritual parents to ask them to assume this role in the wedding. If they accept the gift, then they accept to be Godmother and Godfather.
This step is quite difficult as the Godmother and the Godfather have certain financial obligations to the bride and groom and with the difficult economical situation, some may even turn down this role. So basically they have to buy the wedding candles, to pay for the bride’s veil, “turta”(sort of bride’s cake), the religious service, to bring some guests on their behalf to the wedding and to give a bigger gift at the end of the wedding.
Traditionally they are the Godmother and Godfather of bride/groom’s parents, or other relatives and they used to be older people and also richer:) Nowadays, usually they are good friends of the young couple, with one condition: they have to be married.
After the spiritual parents are found, then it comes the event planning crap as everywhere I guess. In the next post I will write about the wedding day itself.