The Romanian word "colinda”( Carol) has, it seems, the origin in the Latin Calendae a name given to the old pagan New Year holiday. It was the custom to wish the other people prosperity and happiness for the coming year. It was also customary to give gifts to the carolers. This custom is present up to this day in Romanian lore. Carolers receive small dough pretzels, apples and nuts.
The Romans celebrated at this time of the year The Sun’s Birth. It was the moment when the sun was at its lowest in the south hemisphere and then started towards the north like a rising movement.
The Roman Calende were festivities dedicated to the Sun, and the gifts given to carolers are all round, as symbols of he sun. Carolers, men and boys, visited, for six days, all the houses of the community. They sang standing in a circle. At the end of these six days, they had accomplished a circling of the village, the main symbolism of this ritual being of protection. Later, to it was added the meaning of blessing and Christ’s birth.
The carols above, some of the most known in Romanian tradition, are sung by: a famous Romanian professional choir, a folkloric group and a children choir.
I wish all the readers of my blog a Merry Christmas, full of health and wealth!