December 22, 2015

Mysterious Romania (XX) Christmas Time in Romania

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The whole month of  December is a festive period for Romanians.
 Celebrations start already on 30th November, St. Andrew’s day. On 1st December is Romania’s National Day. On 5th December, in the evening, children wait for the arrival of St. Nicholas/Mos Nicolae who leaves gifts in their shining boots. 6th December is St. Nicholas's day. Winter festivities end on January 7, with the celebration of Saint John.  

Christmas Tree
 Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts. Only around half of those who celebrate view it as a religious holiday, while one-third see it as a cultural celebration, rather than one of faith.

 Romania is  rich, especially in rural areas, in traditions. I already described them in a previous post. Some traditions have  been forgotten, while some have taken a different shape. The legendary visit of the three Magi – traditionally the Epiphania- has an echo in our days in the tradition of gifts giving. Romanians share gifts usually on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus – a more modern tradition – exists in Romania, although during the communist period Santa was replaced with the Frost Man (Mos Gerila).

 Children go caroling on Christmas Eve. Carolers have bells, whips and drums and make noise to dispel the evil spirits. From Christmas until Epiphany, they also visit the houses in the neighborhood singing the Carol of The Star and other religious carols, holding a stick with a Star made of cardboard or other materials on top of it. On the first day of the New Year they walk again from house to house chanting a song about luck, throwing rice in the doorways of their receivers.
You may listen to a group of children singing the traditional Carol Steaua/The Star

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  1. What a cheerful song the children are singing, and I like how the star is passed around between them. Your country has lovely traditions, Carmen. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Yes, it's a song about the star that brings the news to the world about Christ's birth.
    I'm glad you enjoyed it. The children are dressed in traditional costumes.
    Tomorrow I have another post with traditional songs/carols from Romania.
    Thank you for the wishes!
    The same comes back your way, too!


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