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Romania Traditions & Folklore

Visit Romania / Romania Traditions & Folklore

Romania traditions: The world of Romanian peasant was always rich in traditions, with a strong respect for nature and history. In every region, traditions have a profound meaning in interpersonal relationships, especially for the most important moments in a man’s life: birth, marriage, and death. We can say, without making a mistake, that rural country is the heart and soul of Romania.

A lot of the Romania traditions, which delight foreign tourists, are those related to the wedding. It’s important to mention that the Romanian wedding is always celebrated with great joy. A special role in this event is assigned to the godparents, the spiritual parents for the married couple.

Among the Romania traditions, which is not missing from any wedding, is the shaving of the bridegroom. Groomsmen are engaged in preparing the bridegroom, including his shave (which today is purely symbolic), a gesture that signifies the boy’s transformation into a man.

After the religious ceremony, another Romanian tradition refers to the bride’s stealing. A few guests steal the bride and the bridegroom, together with godparents, must then negotiate the redemption of the bride. Usually, the bride offers wine, but sometimes these moments are full of creativity. The bridegroom may have to perform certain commands or tasks such as singing to the public or answering a series of questions about his wife. This tradition is an ancient reminiscence, from the time when bride was seen as the most valuable possession.

A lot of Romanian traditions are related to dancing as well. The game of bears for example is an archaic habit that is practiced on the eve of the new year especially in Moldova. Some carolers are disguised in bear, whistles, drummers, each of them playing a certain role. In the game the bear dies and rises invoking the renewal of time, the new year taking the place of the old one.

Another ceremony in the Romanian villages is also the ox adorned with flowers, a holiday of the summer solstice, associated with fruitfulness and vital force.

Mythology, also, play an important role in Romanian traditions. For exemple, on June 24, are celebrating „Sânzienele”, good fairies with great seductive power over men. Many great stories about mythical creatures in Romanian mythology you can find in the works of Mircea Eliade.

The „Călușari” is a special dance in Romanian folklore. Due to their connection with the fairies, the Călușari were believed to be able to cure the victims of fairies and for around two weeks – from three weeks after Easter till Pentecost – would travel to all the local communities where they dance.

Painted eggs is closely related to the art of embroidery on popular costumes, being a true treasure of popular Romanian culture. The egg, seen as a primordial symbol, the seed of life, according to tradition, is painted on Thursdays and Saturdays of the Easter. There are folk craftsmen who make real art objects from the painted eggs. Also, in Suceava, in the north of the country, you will find an The International Museum of Painted Eggs „Lucia Condrea”.

One of the most beautiful Romanian traditions is the celebration of spring. Mărţişorul is an ancient symbol, which marks the arrival of the warm weather on the Romanian lands. In folk beliefs, this talisman has magical powers. Men give this talisman to women, on 1 March, and they wear in their chests or hands throughout March.

Also, in March Romanians have another popular tradition: Grandmothers choose („Babele – in romanian”). According to popular tradition, a day or a „grandmother” will be chosen from 1 to 9 March, which will predict the mood, the luck and the predisposition of everyone to the „grandmother” of the following year. So, bright sunny days are bringing happiness and luck, while cold weather, with rain and snow, means tears, troubles, poverty, and misfortunes.

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