Winter holidays in Romania

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This presentation is a part of the final product DVD ,, Traditions and customs specific to winter holiday” made by Şcoala Gimnazială ,,George Voevidca" , Campulung Moldovenesc, Romania about Winter holidays. Responsible of final product: Sredno Obshtoobrazovatelno Uchilishte "Vasil Levski", Haskovo, Bulgaria.

Text of Winter holidays in Romania

  • 1. Tradiii i obiceiuri romneti specifice srbtorilor de iarn Romanian traditions and customs specific to winter holidays COALA GIMNAZIAL ,,GEORGE VOEVIDCA Cmpulung Moldovenesc, Romnia December 2012 January 2013 PARTENERIAT COLAR MULTILATERAL COMENIUS ,,MULTIGHID EUROPEAN COMENIUS MULTILATERAL SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP ,,EUROPEAN MULTIGUIDE This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

2. The most important feature of winter celebrations is their unique variety of colorful Romanian customs, traditions, and believes, of artistic, literary, musical, and other folklore events, which make the winter holidays some of the most original and spectacular spiritual manifestations of the Romanian people. 3. According to tradition, this is the first day of the winter. St. Nicholas is an old man who brings snow by shaking his beard. In Roman mythology he is an old man who brings presents to the children who have been good and rods to those who have been naughty. In Romanian tradition, St. Nicholas is endowed with special skills, being one of the most important saints who have walked the earth by Gods side since old times St. Nicholas 6th December 4. CAROL - 24th December During the first hours after dark on Christmas Eve is the time for children to go caroling and the adults stay home to greet them. The singing of carols is a very important part of Romanian Christmas festivities. Throughout the Christmas season, little Romanian children (especially those in the villages) visit every house in the locality singing carols such as Steaua ('The Star'), Trei Pstori (The Three Shepherds ") and Mo Crciun ("Santa Claus") and reciting poems and legends tied to the festival. The singing is taken up first by young children, then the adolescents and lastly the adults, who join in often after midnight). In return for such performances, carolers receive apples, nuts, traditional cakes ("cozonaci") and sometimes even money from each house. Romanian folklores abound with Christmas carols which lend a religious mood to the festival. 5. Christmas Day is one of the most festive holidays in Romania. It is a Christian holiday in memory of Jesus Christs birth and most people celebrate the day on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar. Christmas is popularly known as "Crciun" in Romania. The birth of Jesus Christ - 25th December The real celebrations begin with the decoration of the Christmas tree on "Ajunul Crciunului" (Christmas Eve). Fir trees happen to be the main Christmas trees here. Gift exchanges take place in Romania in the evening of Christmas Eve. Romanian children believe that "Mo Crciun" (the Romanian equivalent of Santa Claus) is the one who delivers them their presents. 6. In Romanian families, all the women cook for three days leading up to Crciun. Christmas dinner in Romania is a rich, multi- course meal. On the top of the menu comes various kinds of pork sausages, along with plum brandy and home made pickles. Sarmale, an indispensable item for the festive dinner, comes next. This dish consists of pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with a combination of pork and beef, along with rice, pepper, thyme and other spices. Other dishes to follow are roasted pork and turkey with red wine. The wine is consumed to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The last item is cozonaci, a cake filled with nuts and raisins. All the members of the extended family enjoy the feast together. 7. An element which is specific to the county of Bucovina and which is integrated in the range of winter traditions and customs is bunghierul, the handsome lad of the New Year. Bunghierii are identified with the gendarmes in the groups one might encounter in Udesti and with the emperors in Bosanci, where people perform a dance called just like that: the Emperors from Bosanci. This custom is a parody of an Austrian one since it takes place at a time when people are allowed to rebel and to criticize under this mask. In fact, bunghierii are never diguised; they are the handsome lads in the groups who wander on New Years Eve, says Vera Romaniuc. Bunghierii from Cmpulung Moldovenesc wear a blue or khaki uniform, a replica of the Austrian uniform with lots of shiny buttons and paulettes while those from Vama also wear a decorated hat. Bunghierii - 31st December 8. The goat dance appears in the habit of the New Year's Eve as a symbol of fertility and fecundity, connecting the Romanian territory to the Greek antiquity and to the Oriental civilizations. In every area of the country, you'll recognize in the virtuous pantomime of the mask bearer, in the vitality of his movements but also in the death and rebirth of the Goat, the ancient symbol of vegetation. The goat dance is a frantic dance, which is executed for thousands of years in every carolled house. The goat dance has different names from a region to another: stag in Hunedoara, goat or "turca" in Moldavia and Ardeal, "boria" in South Transylvania. This custom is also called "brezaia" in Wallachia and Oltenia, because of the multicoloured appearance of the mask. The woodenhead of the Goat is covered with fur (of kid or rabbit). The inferior jaw is mobile in order to "clatter". Its cornels may come from a real animal (the goat, ram or deer) or may be made of wood. Between the cornels there are fantastic decorative compositions from the girls' beadwork or their handkerchiefs, multicolored tassels or ribbons, mirrors, tinsel, ivy, basil, artificial or natural flowers. 31st December - THE GOAT DANCE CAPRA 9. It is a very old agrarian ritual. The bear dance can be seen on New Year's Eve only in Moldavia. Its origin are older than 2000 yers and it's very similar to the Goat dance. It is said that it drives away the evil spirits and this way the new year what comes will be cleaned up. A young man plays the bear role. He carries a bear skin on his head and shoulders. The skin is decorated with red tassels, mirrors, gold threads and brass nails. He's tied in chains and droved by a bear leader. A herald wearing old military uniform opens the show. Then the bear leader orders the bear to dance. The bear has a real suite of musicians. So he'll dance on drums rhythm or on pipes song. The man leans upon a cudgel while he mimics the bear's rocking gait. He grumbles. He knocks his boots down to the ground. A really great show. 31st December - THE BEAR DANCE 10. The New Year's Eve is the time when the kids and young men go out with another custom: The Big Plough - performed by young men and kids' Little Plough. This is a tradition still celebrated in the villages situated in the north part of the country, its purpose being to bring householders wishes of prosperity for the following year. 31st December THE LITTLE PLOUGH WELL WISHING Pluguorul 11. The ancient agricultural custom derived from a primitive practice gone through a fertility ritual became a common wish for rich harvests. These cheers are actually a true poem that describes all the agricultural duties from the ploughing of field in spring to the baking of sweet bread in winter. The difference between the Big Plough and the Little Plough consists in its props. The young men care with them two oxen with a plow. Of course they make larger groups, they are older and come just in the evening. At the end of their cheer they make a furrow on the householder's yard. This is a sign he'll have good harvests for the coming year. The hosts reward the children by giving them apples, nuts, pretzels or money. 12. Traditionally, the "Sorcova" bouquet was made up of one or several fruit tree twigs (apple-tree, pear-tree, cherry-tree, plum-tree); all of them are put into water, in warm place, on November 30th (St. Andrews Day), in order to bud and to blossom on New Year's Eve. Nowadays people often use an apple-tree or pear-tree twig decorated with flowers made up of colored paper. The children receive all kinds of treats such as: cakes, honeycombs, biscuits, pretzels, candies, nuts, money. 1st January SORCOVA "Sorcova" is a special bouquet used for New Year's wishes early New Years morning. Children wish people a Happy New Year! while touching them lightly with this bouquet. After they have wished a Happy New Year to the members of their family, the children go to the neighbors and relatives. 13. Boboteaza the day whenJesus Christwas baptized in theJordan Riverby John The Baptist.Together with Saint John Day on the 7th of January, it symbolizes the end of the winter Christmas holidays. The trail of priest from house to house is called "Iordaneala" from the name of Jordan River. The priest is accompanied by a group of children forming a suite who shout all the way "Chiraleisa". "Chiraleisa" is the Romanian pronunciation for the Greek "Kyrie Eleison", which means "God bless you". During a special religious service called Great Holy Water the waters are blessed. These waters (called Agheazma) are said to maintain their freshness all year long and to have miraculous powers . People attend in great number the religious service and queue when it ends, to fill their bottles with the Agheazma . Taking a sip of holy water every morning, before eating, it is said to act like a talisman, protecting you from troubles, bringing peace of mind and soul. Popular traditions also say that young people who are not married and put a twig of blessed basil, given by their priest, under their pillow, the night before Boboteaza, dream of their future spouse. 6th January - The Epiphany BOBOTEAZA 14. Work team: Documentation team Teachers: Lcrmioara Bcanu Marcela Norocel Oltea Nistor Oltea Hofman Daniela Stanciu Students: The 4th , 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Editing work: The 7th and 8th grade students guided by Lcrmioara Bcanu, Marcela Norocel and Oltea Ni