Sanziene or Dragaica is a festival that Romanian people celebrate on June 24, also known as the day when Christians celebrate Saint John the Baptist. During this day death people are remembered.The Feast of Sanziene is an old solar cult and its name probably comes from Sancta Diana, a sylvan goddess. It is believed that mountain people used to meet at Solstice moments (Sanzienele) or Equinox moments, to perform several rituals for Sun. This thing can be proven by the insignias such as rosettes and anthropomorphized sun found in Calimani Mountains.  Sanzienele are seen as flowers and anthropomorphic deities.

In popular traditions Sazienele are beautiful girls, priestesses of the sun that are usually hidden in forests. Here is faeries field and gives special powers to all flowers and weeds. Because of this, the day of June 24 is perfect for collect herbal medicines. Sanziene is also a saint day, so during this feast nobody works.

In different areas of Romania people use to make fires on the hills and others lighting candles and surround with it the house, stables and fields. These fairies can transform in bad spirits and bring storms and hail, leave the field without fruits, and flowers without cure.

During Sanziene feast, girls and boys try to find the beloved one and try to bring good luck in the household. In the morning of this day people braid wreaths of Sanziene and throw them on the house roof. If wreath remains a long period of time on the roof of the house, this means that man will have a long life. But if the wreath falls quickly means that person will die soon. Also girls collect Sanziene flowers and put them under the pillow.

Women believe that during the night they will see their future husband in a dream. In others regions, girls let wreath made of Sanziene flowers outside. The wreath full of dew predicts that the girl will marry in that summer. To see if the year will be a lucky one for the animals from households, people just need to pick garland of Sanziene at the corner of the house witch have orientation at East. If the next day the garland have hair, fluff or feathers from the animals means that that animals will have a great year.

Feasts of Sanziene means happiness and joy in people’s homes.

Ravasitul oilor is a symbolical celebration that marks the final of the pastoral year. This is a very old tradition that exists from the Dacian times. The event marks the respect and the importance of animal breeding tradition.

Ravasitul oilor means „sheep’s scattering” and is the day when the shepherds bring the sheep from the mountains. This symbolical celebration is happening close to Samedru holiday, which is on October 26. Together with Sangiorzul, celebrated on April 23, Samedru divides the year in two balanced seasons – summer and winter.According to these traditions God gave the weather keys to brothers Saint George and Saint Dmitri. The year is associated with a house with two doors, one of Saint Gheorge that opens the door for summer and the other one of Saint Dmitri that opens the door for winter.

Samedru autumn is the day when shepherds reckon with owner for businesses discuss in the spring to Sângiorz. Saint Dmitri let forests without leaves and gathers all householders to the harvest day for enjoying the harvest accumulated during the year. Villages from Oltenia and Muntenia celebrate the harvest joy with Samedru Fires. Fires are made in a meadow outside the village, at major crossroads of fire wheels thrown from the hill.

People gather to see variants of the Samedru Fires and women give children pretzels, apples, nuts or dried fruit.It is the day when shepherds bring the sheep to owners, and discuss about charges interests, pays off debts, rent homes and domains. After this event people get ready for the winter. Nowadays, Ravasitul oilor is a folk festival where shepherds show the quality of their products and beautiful animals. Travelers that enjoy this kind of festival can discover the dishes made by the locals.

In Bran area, tourists can eat sheep pastrami, bulz, cheeses of all kind sprinkles with unfermented wine. There are also prize parades of Sheepdogs, mioritic Sheepdogs and rams. Ravasitul oilor, the Best Breeder of Animals and of course, Cheese and Pastrami Festival takes place the last three days of October in Bran commune on the city of Brasov. For interested tourist, this festival takes place every year at the “Queen’s heart” highland from Bran commune.

The shepherds throw a waistcoat in the middle of a sheep to see how the weather will be; a black sheep on the waistcoat predicts a bad weather and a white ship predicts a great weather.

Lipovan recipes are well-preserved from hundreds of years and tourists can enjoy them. These recipes are given from generation to generation in order to be kept exactly as they are. Lipovan Russians are a community from the city of Braila that still preserves these great recipes. Lipovan deep imprint on the food cannot be finish without a glass of wine or brandy.
Fishing enthusiasts, Lipovans from today cocks the fish after the old recipes that are inventions of the fishermen that sit on the Danube, of Braila. Locals from the old Pisc village, the today’s Braila neighborhood, use to sell fish on the villages around Braila. To feet themselves, they make fish soup to trivet that stops passers and pray to let them taste. People that taste this good food remain for life lovers of the Lipovan fish soup.

A good Lipovan fish soup contains different types of fish like pike, catfish, carp or crucian. In this soup are put large pieces of fish, peppers, tomatoes, lavage, salt, oil and vinegar. The fish which is made to be cooked stays in the evening with a pinch of salt.

Another delicious recipe is Scordolea that is preferably prepared with pike. Combines mashed potatoes and for the ornaments people use pickles and peppers and parsley leaves.

Malasolca is other interesting name that uses catfish, pike, carp or pike. The fish pieces boils and this food is served with boiled potatoes in their skins.Cabbage soup is made from carrot, parsley, celery, boil, and add to the pan beets and finally the cabbage. Women put also peppers, and tomatoes depending on the taste.

Fried mackerel is a fish served with garlic sauce and salt, thyme and vinegar.

The Aspic over is a food that use gelatin and pike, zander and perch. Also Lipovan people eat this jellied fish with horseradish.

Favorite Holiday dish is Lapsa that is actually noodles with egg. This food is served with a chicken soup.

Blinii are a kind of pancake made from eggs, chicken, spices and sugar. It is made with cheese and served with cream, honey or butter.

Varenchi are dumplings with cheese and use flour, one egg, two cups water and salt. On each piece of dough is put a little cheese, stick the edges and boil them in water. This dish is serving with butter or cream.

Amazingly, the Romanian Orthodox Church is the only church within orthodoxy to have as a native tongue a Romance language. With more than 85% of the Romanian population being Orthodox, the Romanian Orthodox Church is only surpassed by the Russian Orthodox Church in members.

Besides the 16 million Christians living in Romania, Romanian orthodoxy also expands to neighboring countries of Moldova (720,000), Serbia and Hungary and even more, the United States (11,203) and Oceania.

The Orthodox doctrine is often called the “true faith” or the “right/correct belief” by its members.

The three most significant events in a person’s life are the birth, the wedding and death. These are all usually “celebrated” through certain customs varying from church to church.

Orthodox Romanians baptize their children while they are still newly born, unlike other faiths where they are baptized later in their life. There may be many pairs of godparents and the engagement godparents must baptize the first child. Also, it is the godparents’ obligation to each hold lit an ornamented candle matching the child’s gender. At the end of baptizing, the godfather must put a silver cross necklace on the child and the godmother must swaddle him.

When it comes to the holy marriage and wedding, the man courts the woman and asks her hand to her parents. After she accepts and they get engaged, they decide on their godparents, as these are considered extremely important. The bride is readied by the godmother and afterwards meets the groom who gives her the flower bouquet. During the ceremony, Orthodox Christians have this custom to steal de bride and for unmarried girls to catch the bouquet.

When a person dies, the Orthodox customs of burial are the following: the deceased’s hands are crossed holding a cross, all persons coming to the wake must say “God forgive him!” The relatives of the deceased must wear black for 40 days and man should not shave and must not leave the soulless body alone. Wailing is manifested in some parts of the country as sign of respect towards the deceased. If the day of the burial is a rainy one, this signifies that the dead person did not want to die.

The Romanian Orthodox Church’s most important holidays and days of rest, besides the Birth of Jesus and the Resurrection Day, are the Beheading of St John the Baptist, Feast of the Cross, the Pentecost (Rusalii), Nativity of Mary, Assumption of Mary, Transfiguration of Jesus, Palm Sunday (Florii) and the Epiphany (Boboteaza).

The most loved and prized saints of the Orthodox Romanians are John the Baptist, the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Saint Nicholas and Saint Andrew.

As many wonder, there are some but slight differences between Catholicism and Orthodox, which were once the same Christian faith. In Romanian, they use different nouns for the Holy Spirit – Orthodox use “Duh” while Catholics say “Spirit”. Moreover, they make a cross the other way round. Catholics believe in the existence of a purgatory, a place or a state where a man waits for the Last Judgment, whereas Orthodox do not believe such thing exists. While Orthodox use bread as the body of Christ, Catholics use wafers, like Jews. Although Orthodox priests are permitted to have a family, Catholics are prohibited to get married and have children. Lastly, Catholics are known for the papal supremacy, considering the Pope as the replacer of Christ on Earth.

 

The majority of Romanians are Orthodox, which means that Easter is held on a different date each year, as the first Sunday after the first full moon which falls after or on the spring equinox. While Catholics take into consideration the actual spring equinox, Orthodox starts the Easter calculus from 3rd of April, which counts as an equinox. In some years, the Catholic and the Orthodox Easter fall on the same day.

Romanians have a great deal of traditions and customs for almost everything and Easter, as the Resurrection of Jesus, and Christmas, as His Birth, are the two most important Christian holidays. Besides its religious connotation, Easter also represents the gift of bringing families together.

It all begins with the Lent (Romanian: Postul Mare), a period of 40 days which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, representing Jesus’ time in the wilderness while enduring Satan’s temptations. Lent is a time when each individual should repent, fast from foods and prepare for the coming of Easter.

The Holy Week before Easter is a time of abundant customs and traditions. People go into general spring cleaning, washing, fixing, and reordering everything in their households.

There are several superstitions regarding the fifth day of the Holy Week, Maundy Thursday. It is said that should you sleep on this day, you will be lazy the whole year. Also,  the dead come yearly on this day to their old homes and rest there until the Saturday before the Rose Sundays.

Maundy Thursday is also the day all traditional foods and cleaning should be finished, as well as painting the eggs red, as it is said that if you do it on this day, they will last longer or… even forever.

On the next day, Good Friday or Black Friday, the crucifixion and death of Jesus is commemorated by abstaining from eating and drinking the entire day, allowing themselves to eat Holy bread from the church in the evening.

On Saturday, the lamb is sacrificed for the traditional food “drob de miel”. Also on Saturday, people dress in their newest clothes, most of them bought especially for this occasion, and then go the Resurrection service at church, where they will light a candle which must be taken home while burning and kept for “dark times”. Another thing people receive at church is the “pasti” which is bread soaked in red wine, a combination which signifies the body of Christ.

In tandem with the Resurrection of Christ, there is also the Easter Bunny story that children greatly enjoy. The Easter bunny, symbolizing fertility, brings the children gifts and leaves them randomly for the kids to find.

The beautiful tradition of painted eggs has a Christian origin and symbolizes the spring arrival together with revival of nature. During Easter time, every table has a basket of painted eggs that represents the revival of life.

The legend of painted eggs said that Saint Mary put a basket with eggs and cry at the legs of his crucified Son. His blood makes the eggs red and since then, the tradition of painting red eggs is still preserved.

Romanian popular tradition considers that painted eggs symbolizes regeneration, purification and protects the animals from the household. Usually, women are responsible to paint the eggs with paint or using several old techniques, such as sweet apple peel or red onion peel to get the red color, blue is obtained from purple flowers, green can be get from walnut leaves and so on. For every color there is a correspondent in nature.

During Lent, travellers can see the greatest art of painted eggs especially in Bucovina region. Here, the eggs’ background color is preserved, and people draw lines which have different significations. Drawings are made with a wooden stick which has fixed a tiny brass. On this tiny brass passes a pork hair. Today, most women paint the eggs in

Usually, the painting of the eggs is a tradition accomplished during Holy Week. This year is hold from April 9 to April 15, respecting the Julian calendar. Before women start painting the eggs, they have to finish a Black Fast – a severe form of religious/ orthodox fasting.  Painted eggs can be eaten only after the Easter liturgy – held on Saturday night in all Romanian Orthodox churches. During the liturgy, Christians are holding a lighted candle.

Painted and colored eggs are shared with the love ones and other relatives and according to traditions, the eggs are usually put close to one of their Religious icons.

In Banat region children wash their faces in the Easter morning with fresh water in which put grass and a red egg. Also here, the traditional meal consists in boiled pork knuckle, roast lamb and red eggs. People eat only after the food is fiddled.

During Easter time, Romanians eat a painted egg only after accomplishing a well-known tradition: an old person, usually men, collide the other person’s egg and said this “Christ is Risen!”. The other person responds with “Truly, He is Risen”.

Foreign tourists that visit Romanian during Eastern Time are served with painted eggs to celebrate the Ascension of Christ.

This year, Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on April 16. Around 86% of the Romanian population is Orthodox Christians.

 

Romania is a beautiful country with lovely traditions and folklore. Each region of Romania has different traditions and cuisine. All ingredients and techniques of combining food make them diverse and delicious.

Transylvania region is presenting the cabbage soup, “balmus”, “bulz”, papricas, stew with smoked dishes and many more. “Balmus” is a great recipe that contains flour, cream, butter; looks like polenta (Romanian: mămăligă), but it has a sour taste. “Bulz” is another recipe that is similar to polenta and contains: bellows cheese, kaiser, bacon, a little bit of cream and a little bit of butter. The traditional bacon (Romanian: slănină) is the food that people will find in every season, being used for several dishes preparation. Most of the Transylvanian dishes use pork meat, vegetables, milk, cheese and eggs. To get the sour taste on soup the locals use vinegar or cabbage juice. They also use lard and stewed onions and a little browned flour (Romanian: rântaş) as a substitute for oil.

In Maramures region locals serve guests with goulash soup (Romanian: gulaș la ceaun), dumplings with vegetables (Romanian: colțunași cu legume), soup with corn and cheese, pancakes with cheese and greens. Homemade bread is cut only after locals make the sign of the cross on it. People from Maramures always invite visitors in their houses, because they are very hospitable. They serve them with their traditional brandy (Romanian: pălincă) and every meal can be eaten only after a pray.

In the region of Crisana travelers will discover unusual, but delicious recipes. Here visitors can try “Oxen on cabbage juice” a dish from 150 years. This recipe contains corn flour, cabbage juice (Romanian: moare) and oil. From the corn flour are made dumplings that boil in cabbage juice. Another old traditional dish is “Nudlic with poppy” which is prevalent in all regions under different names. This recipe contains: potatoes that are boiled, spiced, are minced and knead with the egg, flour, and oil. It looks like pastas and are serve with poppy and grated lemon rind. After a good meal it is time for something sweet such as sweets dumplings with nuts and jam (Romanian: colțunași, also known as “Tasche cu pegmez”). One of the most famous dishes is made from beef and pork meat with vegetables, prepared usually outside the house in a big cast iron pot (Romanian: bograci). The plate has a Hungarian influence and offers a great occasion for outside activities.

The traditional food of Oltenia is famous worldwide for its prepared in traditional pots made of ground. The most used vegetable in Oltenia is leek which is not as spicy as onion. In this area tourists can also discover and taste tasty pickles and sour soups. People from Oltenia promote a nourishing and very delicious meal. Cake with sour milk it is a local delicacy which is resembled with polenta and its served at breakfast or as a snack combined tomatoes, cheese or milk. Local food is spiced with horseradish, pepper, parsley and lovage.

Travelers that visit Oltenia need to taste the leek soup, leeks with olives, Oltenian stew. As a main dish visitors can try chicken ciulama with polenta, which looks like stew, and is made with flour, cream, spices, parsley, and chicken meat. The homemade sausages are famous because its delicious and unique taste.

People from Banat love well cooked food and a plentiful table. They are famous for their homemade cakes and this sweet desert is never missing from their houses. Beside all, Banat cuisine contains: noodles soup, paprika with potatoes, cooked cabbage with sausages, and crispy pastry. Sponge cake with poppy seeds, also known as “beigli” (a smaller sponge cake) is a great dessert for all kind of guests. Soups are made with homemade noodles and chicken meat. For a sour soup, people from Banat use lemon and put a lot of cream. Noodles are also use for sweet foods and are combined with cheese, nut, milk, poppy or cabbage.

Muntenia locals use for their dishes: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and pastas. Here travelers can eat Vegetable-Rice Soup, tripe soup, ciulama (traditional dish with mushrooms with sour cream). For a sour soup locals usually use borsch (Romanian: borș). To prepare all this good meals people use butter, oil and also lard. Colored sauces are made with tomatoes or broth. Tourists will also appreciate musaca, bird meat, chicken stew (Romanian: ostropel), stufat de miel and other recipes that include fish. Musaca is a cake with vegetables, ground beef and cream. Stufat de miel is a recipe made for Easter table and contains: lamb, vegetables, tomato paste and vegetable juice.

Dobrogea cuisine. Most of the recipes contain a lot of fish, venison, pork meat, bird meat and also beef. The locals use plenty of vegetables and fruits for a healthier life. Tourists can taste here salads combined with eggs, cheese and cream, Dobrogean pie, musaca, and plum soup. Basic preparations are serve with rice, vegetables garnish or pasta.

Moldavia region is known for its eye-catching places, but has also good dishes to be tried. All Moldavian foods are served in big plates and special combinations. Here dishes contain pork meat, beef, potatoes, cereal and cabbage. Polenta and the Romanian cabbage filled with ground meat, rice and spices (Romanian: sarmale) are always present on the table. The most popular dishes from this region are: chicken soup or borsch, pork barbecue, patties of beef and lamb, grilled marinated fish, dumplings (pieces of dough filled with jam, minced etc.) with fresh cheese, potatoes or meat. For all those who prefer lights and tasty food they need to try.

For a Romanian exclusive culinary experience travelers need to discover the Romanian tasty dishes, from each region, because all of them have different influences.

Fagaras County Museum “Valter Literat” was built in 1923 based on the professor Valter Literat heritage collections. This building tells a story about this beautiful area using its picturesque, antiques and art exhibitions. All these things reveal the past of this area and also modern times.

Fagaras Fortress houses the Fagaras County Museum, exhibiting Roman artifacts, a collection of medieval weapons and traditional folk crafts.

The museum was under Valter Literat’s custody until 1951. In this year the museum has been awarded a permanent establishment and received the status of a state institution under the name of Fagaras City Museum. By order of the Ministry of Culture the name of museum was change in Fagaras County Museum “Valter Literat”, name that was preserved until today.

During time, the museum had a big influence in the historical and ethnographical Romanian research. Museum’s heritage mixed profile (history, ethnography, art) includes a total of 20 collections such as: archeology, weapons, coins, tiles, old books, documents, lapidarium, glass factory, decorative art and fine ceramics folk costumes, fabrics, custom icons on glass, wood art, crafts and so on.

The main exhibition presents the evolution of the civilization from Fagaras in a string of moments and significant events. Depending on the content of its heritage, the main exhibition was divided into three sections: the history of Fagaras (from the Bronze Age until 1 December 1918), ethnography zone (ceramics, textiles, costumes, rustic interior, icons and other beautiful objectives), fine art and decorative.

Every year, Fagaras County Museum delights visitors with unique exhibitions, paintings and pictures, on different topics. For example tourists could see paintings of young artists from Fagaras area. Also, tourists can admire the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem Anointing Stone, made some beautiful landscapes on Mount Athos in Greece and at the opening could listen hymns interpreted by students from Orthodox Theological School “Saint Constantin Brancoveanu”.

Another interesting exhibition hosted by the museum was the “Dresses, ornaments and representation in painting Saxon times”. It was found a world based on elegance and refinement: veil pins, belts and buckles of beaten gold and silver with precious stones.

This museum is ideal for a quiet day or a little stop in a place where the traveler can learn about Romanian culture and the city of Fagaras. Fagaras County has been declared for the first time in 1222 and is an amazing area located in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains.

The beginning of the spring stars with two extraordinary celebrations – Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day. On March 8 all women, mothers, sisters and girlfriends are celebrating their special day, dedicated to them.

All over the word, March 8 signifies the International Women’s Day and countries from the old Soviet bloc also celebrate Mother’s Day. Women’s Day is celebrating since the Olympus God. Greeks dedicate Hilaria festival to Cybele Goddess, earth goddess and mother of the gods. This festival unrolls on March 15-18 and was taken by Roman mythology.

International Women’s Day also signifies the winning rights that women had to fight for a long period of time. Therefore, it is a day when women are acknowledged for their successes without esteem to divisions, whether national, ethnic, etymological, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first appeared from the actions of labour movements at the turn of the 20th century in North America and Europe.

In 1910 at “The workers conference of Copenhagen” it was decided that women from all over the world needed to be celebrated in one day. Three years later, in 1913, March 8 was declared the International Military Women’s Day.Every country has its own way to celebrate this important day. A common matter that all countries had is that this day celebrates the military women that made their dreams come true – they give to all women vote rights, education right, medical assistance rights, the right to divorce and other privileges.

Mother’s Day is a festival started in Olympus. Rhea divinities were used to celebrate on March 8 this special event. In the countries were Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 8, men are giving flowers and presents to their dear ones. Officially, Romania recognizes March 8 as the Mother’s Day since 2010, but is celebrated on this day for many years.

Taking in consideration this holidays are celebrated in March, a month dedicated to spring, a lot of flowers are given to the loved ones. The international mascot of International Women’s Day is the tulip flower. Tulip signifies gentleness and spring heat and is perfect for women.

In Romania, is said that if girls are wearing their beautiful “martisor”, from March 1 to March 9, they will be lucky all year round. For showing to all mothers from the world that they are important and needed in our lives, a celebration day combined with gifts and flowers will delight them.

Let’s celebrate women from our lives with flowers and card messages with appreciation words.