The Feast of Sanziene – celebration of nature, saints and dead

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.

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Adela Petrus
“At any age, man is a creature that feeds on stories. Therefore, the wealth measured in stories, gathered by the people across the globe, from house to house, from century to century, either spoken or in writing, exceeded any other human wealth” - Rabindranath Tagore


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