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“Without our customs and traditions, without costumes and our language we cannot call ourselves romanians”
Holidays and folk customs, grouped around the winter (December 20 to January 7), are generically called winter holidays. The period begins and ends during holidays prefaced by Christmas Eve, Christmas and Epiphany, and intersecting in the middle of New Year's Eve. The main festivals of the winter cycle - Christmas, New Year, Epiphany - worked over time as independent moments of renewal of time and beginning of the year.
Calendar habits and those of family life are a perennial part of our traditional culture. The holidays between December 6 and January 7 is related to the richest repertoire of habits that are focused around the two old men: Christmas Eve and Christmas. Therefore, a full moon in the tradition is honored. The most common and lavish habits, traditions proved to be those of the great Feast of Christmas, New Year and Epiphany.
For all of us, winter is not only snow and cold weather, but also that of joy occasioned by many customs and traditions related to the celebration of the Nativity. Last month of the year, Daylight , popularly called, is full of religious events of winter customs and habits of old, who resisted passage of time, being taken as such or adapted to modern times. Christmas and New Year also go through a whole ritual of traditions, among which stands out carols, songs, star, various shouts of Pluguşor, which vary from one region to another and even from one village to another.
• Period of Advent, prayer, Christian meditation, during which almost is not usually a day without any remains of ancient times - starting in mid -November. With the start of Advent, the traditional village installs a state of agitation. Work on the field ended long ago, corn was well put in storage in every household, and now all attention is directed towards community preparation activities of the holiday season. Sezatorile also begin.
Before Christmas, the winter holidays begin with Saint Nicholas.
Patron of Greece, Russia and many cities in Western Europe, is one of the most popular saints of Christianity, because of the many miracles both during his life and after his death, being called "Wonderworker", keeping the role of Santa children. St. Nicholas comes from a wealthy family and is known as the protector of the wrongly accused, traders, travelers, maidens, brides and especially small children. It is said that he was often seen dressed in red and white bishop's robes, riding on a donkey and making gifts to the needy.
Miracles of St. Nicholas, and the resurrection of the three children killed by an innkeeper or save from the wreck of ships are known. Of the many stories that we have a hero, the most famous being the daughters of a rich man who had lost his fortune. St. came in one night and threw them out the window three bags of gold, which they have the dowry. In the Middle Ages, many churches were built in honor of St. Nicholas. In the eleventh century his remains were deposited in a church in the Italian city of Bari.
St. Nicholas was a real person, Archbishop of Myra and was born in the town of Patara in Asia Minor in the second half of the third century. At the First Ecumenical Council held in Nicea in 325, he was recognized as a great defender of orthodoxy. The council condemned the heresy of Arius, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but a man with supernatural powers. Holy, worried about a possible rift that could take place in the Church, gave the heretic Arius a slap.
St. Nicholas, the protector of children and people who are in trouble, is one of the most celebrated saints in the world. Holy Feast is on December 6, the day that traditionally offered gifts, especially to children. During the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, Martin Luther tried to stop the worship of saints, and the Feast of St. Nicholas was abolished in many European countries. Dutch, like the Romanians, Hungarians, French, and other Europeans have survived until today the customs of Saint Nicholas Day, on 6 December It is said that today is the day in which good wins evil, the light beats the darkness.
If St. Andrew was put in sprouting wheat to see how will be the coming year, St. Nicholas is putting in water twigs of fruit trees, because they bloom, proof of pardon mistakes, as the folk traditions. For the most awaited celebration in December, Christmas, Romanians turned equally to tradition and customs. Christmas itself is preceded by another day with special significance - Ignatius
Ignat is the solar deity who took the name and date of the celebration of St. Ignatius Theophany (December 20) in the Orthodox calendar, synonymous with Ignatius Pigs. On December 20 in the Orthodox calendar is celebrating St. Ignatius. In this day tradition ordains to be cut the Christmas pig. With pig blood they will make a sign of the cross on the foreheads of children to be healthy throughout the year.
After timing popular Christmas traditions start the day before Christmas Eve (December 23) when celebrating death which descends from heaven to earth for mankind. After midnight mass is a fasting food (cakes, boiled wheat, beans, etc. ) for waiters spirits of the dead. Morning after sanctification table, food is divided to family members and neighbors. All evening of December 23 starts the wandering children, who are considered good luck and happiness: Santa's Eve. Ignatius is followed in natural sequence, the feast of Christmas full of light.
Carols singing is an ancient custom , pre-Christian of course , but in time came to do, they say , good house with Christianity. Songs that attract luck and blessings on people and households for the whole year ahead. In ancient carols were "specialized" ( priest , pastor , big girl , etc. . ). An important category is strictly about Christmas carols church , evoking the worship of the Magi ( Viflaimul or Nativity Drama - beat your name Bethlehem ) or panic and cunning Herod ( Herods ) , culminating in cutting infant ( the 14000 , which the Church commemorates the 29 December). The scenarios are simple, charming in their naivety. Around the same time , young men walking with " Goat " ( Turkish, Weathercock ) or " bear " in mottled and noisy bands ( reminiscent pagan ). Star songs that are familiar today (especially " top rising star. . . " ). " Pluguşorul " and " Sorcerer " are related to the renewal of the year , having no connection with religious cycle of Christmas.
Since the night of 23 December 24 at midnight and until dawn streets of small villages singers voice sound. In cities we meet carols from evening until midnight. In the villages, especially, are much better preserved the traditions this time of year. One of the most popular traditions is the Romanian carols, ritual texts composed of ceremonial dances and gestures. So on Christmas Eve, groups of carolers, traditional costumed at the homes of householders wishes for health, happiness and prosperity, fulfillment of wishes in the new year.
Santa's Eve anticipates the coming of Christmas. The first Christmas carols are sung in the night of December 23 to 24. Children of villages and towns, swimming through snowdrifts and huddling cold, go cheerfully, in bands from house to house with the bag by the neck, waiting for the wishes uttered: bagels, coils, apples and nuts. But, for some time, besides the picturesque old usually intervened "choirs" which very often sing.
Carols send wishes of good health, rich fruit, fulfillment of wishes in the new year. Carols is the most prevalent tradition of Romanians. When people do not get carolers, close doors or give gifts, magical effects are opposite, they are breaking the rules of this custom. In this case, we get a unique custom Romanian territory called "descolindat" upset that they did not receive, carolers utter wishes of ill-fated and ridicule, usually certified by researcher Peter Caraman.
Carol begins in the evening and after some rules. On Christmas Eve carol only children, symbols of purity, the physical and moral cleanliness. It was not until Christmas Day carol young men and women are excluded. Group of carolers is held on the neighborhood and go from house to house, for their greeting is considered auspicious.
Their arsenal consisting of bells, sticks and whips have meant that by the noise to chase away evil forces. In the same context to recall games with masks: goat with its variants - and even camel , giraffe, bear, Little Horses meant to stigmatize all ills in the community. Are also represented occupational profiles: Innkeepers , coppersmith , farmer setc. From costume unfailing string of bells, with the same purpose - to remove evil forces
December 24 th is Christmas Eve, and the customs of the day are religious. Around this important holidays they listen carols, music for the soul, and received carolers. Since the morning that day until midnight, groups of children between five and fourteen years go by "Christmas Eve" ("Trick or treat. . . ? ") And receive mostly nuts and pretzels.
According to popular belief, Christmas Eve (24 December), the heavens open and make oracular practices for staying away from diseases and crop next year. It is customary that on the Christmas Eve on the meal are put two loaves of bread, salt, fish, wheat and a glass of water to the dead who come to eat. Another popular belief is the threat trees, the men are going to ax trees in garden and threatening that if they did not bear fruit as it should, you cut them.
Also in the night, Santa Claus comes to kids and make them presents under the tree. But nobody knows for sure how Santa gets into people's homes, but all the stories keep the note of mystery. Some children believe that in the window, others think a stick magic helps to make small and penetrate through the keyhole, and others, more cosmopolitan, believes that Santa comes from the chimney.
Coming Christmas is one of the most anticipated times of the year. He is the reason of joy for the entire family, loved ones occasion that gathers around the Christmas tree, drank a glass of wine in honor of the Nativity and listen to carol singers greeting. On Romanian lands, they are very well preserved especially in the rural world where customary at this time of celebration is caroling, going with goat star or Pluguşorul.
In Romania , winter holidays , especially the Christmas celebrations are true soul ones. It brings back strong childhood memories in mind and soul, snow rich and abundant fruit foreboding , singing carols and bells , the smell of fresh pine , and the cake , the gifts under the tree waiting impatience Winter , all create an atmosphere in the family of fairy , peace and love. Christmas , is also called " family celebration " is the occasion when all come together : parents, children, grandchildren change their gifts , enjoy the moments spent together around the table , with the belief that by properly honoring celebrations will be a rich year. From St. Nicholas to St. John, Romanians feel festive. They wait , however , Christmas , the feast of the Nativity considered. People have cultivated over time , creating traditions and customs adapted to their specific culture.
Christmas is celebrated throughout the country with specific differences in major geographic areas: Bucovina, Maramures, Transylvania, Moldova, etc. . These ancient Christmas customs are practiced in some areas even today.
Christmas Traditions in Moldova - Keeping light One of the oldest traditions of Christmas, keeping the light is kept very few Moldovans. Feast of the Nativity, Christmas binds the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. To "extend" and keep as much daylight, people did pyre of logs to light. Nowadays, this custom was reduced to bread image that symbolizes the well being.
Christmas traditions in Bucovina Şezătorile of Advent, the renewal of houses, preparing traditional food, carols, the ritual of slaughter pig, riding Star and Sorcova are part of the Christmas traditions which are kept in Bucovina. Advent evening is held until Christmas Eve, when the priest icon householders reach homes and sanctifies the food. Women cooked meals for Christmas day. we find pickle meat dumplings , Beverage , meat, meat with horseradish and cream, walnut and poppy seed cakes, smoked sausages.
One of the oldest traditions is the Christmas carol. In some villages in Banat centuries old Christmas traditions are still preserved today, going caroling from house to house both children and youth divisions. On the first day of Christmas carolers caroling star, reminiscent of the star that they followed the three wise men to reach the place where the Christ child was born. Another ancient custom is Viflaimul or Herods, representing a play by recovering children the story of Jesus' birth. Tradition says that the person who will receive the carol will be blessed and will have good luck in the coming year, a sign of wealth and if the first person to enter the house for Christmas is a man.
Houses must be lit and doors must be open. On. Christmas Eve , bands of young men walked caroling. Once you have prepared thoroughly for this day , the men begin to wander from house to house. They will come only where they are welcome. Therefore houses must be lit and the door open , just so men will know where to come. It's shame that men do not step into the house. Carol you until the day when all the groups of young men meet in the church. Viflaimul is the climax. After the end of Mass on December 25 , men should play Viflaimul. "It's a play that represents the early days of Jesus' life. In front of the church , everyone should know their role well. No one is allowed to make mistakes. Even after hundreds of years, this is usually enforced for Maramures. Viflaimul is the highlight of Christmas.
In Oltenia, traditions and customs are unique, which is still preserved in the countryside and is a uniqueness in our country. Searching in the fire: it is a custom practiced in most villages Oltenia, on Christmas Eve. All family members gather around the fire and, in turn, give with a stick in the fire, saying: "Morning's Eve? Like them better by Christmas? In a good watch? Sheep wool? Cows milk? Horses incurable? Healthy people? Let there be pieces, corn, wheat. "
Gathering garbage: it is a ritual that is practiced even on Christmas Day. They walk through the courtyard of the house and collect all the garbage, in the belief that the household will have many chickens and women squats as hens will sit on the eggs, in the following year. Carols: in all Oltenia there are many carols sung, but the most popular and widespread are the Star and the Great plow. Star: an ancient tradition that is still alive on Christmas Eve and until dawn. Plow the Great: Usually what is the most common practice in the New Year. The plow is organized by the young men of the village, and was led by a valiant boy named "staroste", which have the task of keeping the plow horns and passing greeting. The gang usually consisted of 12 boys and unlike Pluguşor, went only to wealthy families in the village.
Habits for finding Fates: The New Year is believed that unmarried girls can be weird for fulfilling certain prescribed rituals. Thus, they included the link with closed eyes seem tenth of wattle and the next day went to see as hair, to know how to show the weird. If hair was straight, her future husband will be handsome. If one piece of wood was peeling, the girls will have an ugly man, and if it was gnarly, they will get a rich partner.
Star songs that are familiar today (especially "top rising star …)This usually like to remember the star that announced the birth of Jesus and guided the three wise men. Songs about star come from different sources: some Orthodox Byzantine literature, some from medieval Latin literature of the Catholic Church, some of the literature shade Calvin and many of them, even the local traditions. Little chorus of stellar entering the house in the days of Christmas, singing religious verses about the birth of Jesus: "Star rises up" "In the city of Bethlehem, " "what happened at the wedding, " "Three Magi from the east". Besides great evening of carols and carols evening is St. Basil, along with Pluguşorul.
From Christmas to Epiphany, children walk with "star", an old custom that meets all Christian peoples. Sing carols Christmas Eve until Epiphany. Like any other traditional customs, carols, they have a lot of variants and versions specific to different regions.
In Romanian mythology legend myth merged with Pastor Christmas Nativity. It is said that without the husband Craciuneasa host receives the Virgin, offering a stable shelter. About this Christmas is soon her husband, a man noted for his wickedness in the land. As a reward he cut his wife's hands but they are stuck in a place of Our Lady. Christmas miracle converts himto christianity. Of joy that his wife escaped the punishment of reckless, Christmas lights a bonfire of pine stumps in his yard and play dance with all his servants. After the game divides pastoral gifts of the Holy Family: milk, cheese, curd, cream. From here Santa's transfiguration into a saint, who brings gifts to children on Jesus' birth, which usually coincides with the memory of the gifts, as legend evangelical Magi Kings brought them into the fold of the new Messiah.
Songs of Christmas joy to all of his servants was turned into carols . Met over two thousand years Santa Claus lured by the smell of fir and cake, fresh out of the oven comes loaded gifts for the little boy. Arrived at the North Pole with elves and reindeer, according to the latest standards he sits gifts under Christmas trees beautifully decorated.
Christmas tree as we know it today, decorated with ornaments which reflect shimmering light candles or electrical , it has always been thus adorned. While in Europe , pre-Christian origin is not disputed by anyone, opinions are still divided : some see the tree representation of the " Tree World" ( from the old cult of trees ) , others consider it a direct reference to the " Tree of Paradise " adorned with a bright red apple , reminiscent of the sins committed by the people first before their expulsion from Paradise. Until the late fifteenth century were adorned with green twigs homes for Christmas , as gifts and people did to each other were considered pagan tradition. But before long , will be used in place of a whole tree . According to the documents , in 1605 , in Strasbourg was erected the first Christmas tree in a public market. There was still adorned with candles and red apples. In 1611, in Breslau , Duchess Dorothea adorns first Christmas tree as we know it today.
. Any Christmas tree has lights. Elders say that candles and Christmas tree lights banishes evil in the world, the home of the soul.
Until the nineteenth century , Christmas was not a very popular character that scare and threaten children. It seems that Santa has become a totally different commercial factor . These two events publishing and advertising campaign. Clement Moore was the one who wrote in 1822, "The Night Before Christmas ' " for his family. The story was picked up by a newspaper and reprinted in magazines , spreading around the world. Moore admitted that the author of the story until 1938. In his poem is the image of gentle and kind old man who goes by reindeer sled enters the chimney and leaves presents under the Christmas tree, stuffed sack. There was then a series of illustrated stories in " Harper 's Weekly ", where Santa Claus was seen working in his workshop toys, children's reading and checking letters and gift list. Finally , the image of Santa with a white beard , chubby cheeks and eyes were playful printed advertising campaign of Coca- Cola in the 30's , which continued until 1964. The author of this image is Haddon Sundblom.
Christmas Day (December 25), the former Dacian new year, is full of ancient traditions: carols, riding star (up to Epiphany, the Saint John), Herods (the coming of the Magi by star). Christmas customs include the partition of the first coil flakes Christmas poultry and cattle to be protected from diseases , superstition that if Christmas is warm, Easter will be cold, and vice versa. On Christmas Day people don’ t sweep and do not remove the garbage out of the house overnight.
Starting today and ending Ignatius Christmas elsewhere since Christmas day, and the others are only accustomed day of Saint Basil, the lads walk with the bear, goat and children with Star ("Who receives star the beautiful and bright. . . "). As in other games with masks applied during the winter holidays, and the goat and gave way, in addition to traditional masks (goat shepherd, Gypsy) masks of devils and estates which by cries, shouts, funny movements, increase grade humor and cheerfulness, sometimes giving a hint of the grotesque.
The goat game
The game "goat" (killing, crying, burial, resurrection) at home was of course a serious ceremony, a religious element. The game became a ritual meant to bring fruitful year ahead, growth in the livestock herds shepherds, the success of crops - beans invoked and evoked host is cast over the procession "goat“. The goat plays after the whistle, and the end, one of the lads, approaching the table where family members begin to have fun. The lads play the mistress of the house, the girls and even the maid, if in the house, and then thanking removed.
For Christmas, we think of loved ones, be they near or far, which we send greetings. The custom was started by Sir Henry Cole in 1843, the first card was designed by JC Horsley, selling thousands of copies in London. Another English artist, William Egley, produced a popular card in 1849. From the beginning, themes and images were varied as Christmas customs around the world. From props are not missing candles, flame tree with ornaments, Santa Claus is a symbol of what we have better. Wisdom, honesty, cheerfulness, good humor are some of the features of the old man who became famous in the mid twentieth century.
The traditions of the winter holidays with the family, there are many tales, poetry and love. Who wants to know the Romanian soul to enter his house, especially in winter. We see then how he worships with his face to the East, where the light comes, he makes the sign of the cross before and after meals or as before cutting the bread, she made over her with a knife, sign of the cross three times. We are a rich nation spiritually. Many traditions and customs of rare beauty and of great spiritual value are concentrated around two major winter holidays: Christmas, Nativity of Christ, and that the New Year. We have inherited from our ancestors Roman feast of the New Year, adorned with lots of traditions. To these were added poetry and legends of the shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains Dacians.
Pluguşorul and Sorcova are related to the renewal year, having no connection with religious cycle of Christmas
Sorcova? Cheerful ? Let flourished? Like an apple? Like hair? Like a strand of rose? Hard as a rock? Quick as arrow? Quick as iron? Strong as steel '? Next year and happy birthday
After the New Year, the most practiced habits are Sorcova winter, cross Chiraleisa and Leaving water on Epiphany. Sorcova or seeding is an ancient custom practiced on the first day of the New Year, St. Basil, when children go to neighbours and relatives branches of artificial flowers, adorned with colored ribbons, or, in the absence of such rods, armed with wheat, rice, barley, beans and other grains that throws the door of the householder. Chiraleisa practice on the eve of Epiphany, when groups of girls and boys wander "Chiraleisa! "Religious formula adapted version of" Rent Eleison. "Epiphany, after the religious service in the church officiating is going in procession to "the sacred water", the priest throws a cross in icy water, and a boy goes quick to remove. That habit of letting water enter cross basically string winter holidays.
Eve of Epiphany day fasting Epiphany Eve take fasting, people do not eat and do not drink anything. Canons of the Church teaches that Theophany Eve is totally fasted, and the next day take holy water on an empty stomach. Theophany or Epiphany, celebrated on January 6 next day the Holy Prophet John the Forerunner, celebrated on January 7, ending cycle of winter holidays and has, in addition to the Christian meanings - spiritual moment of birth of the Saviour - traits celebration popular.
Epiphany – the sainting of water On the day of Epiphany Water holiness occurs during Jordan. Preparing this time point , and today , with attention , in every community. Venue of the job is chosen together with the village priest , usually a larger space - which is at least a well - in the immediate vicinity of streams, a man in the household or in the churchyard. For this time fetching water , which was placed in large wooden vessels , and now everything is cut , the river, a large cross ice. Around this cross or around the cross which is normally in the churchyard , takes place throughout religious ceremony , in which all the souls of the community. After the consecration of the water, turned into holy water , each villager takes the holy water in vessels of wood or glass that came from home. On the way back they cry " Chiraleisa " - for future wealth Crops , air purification and increase as high as hemp - and pour a little holy water in all wells in sight. Once home, sanctify the people with holy water: the shed , barn animals, barn , orchard trees , the house and inside the house.
Feast of St. John the Baptist - Forerunner of the Lord The day after Theophany on January 7, Church commemorates St. John the Baptist, the Forerunner of the Lord called the last great prophet of the Old Testament, but also the one who made the move to the New Testament period. In memory of Christendom he will remain as the one baptizing the Saviour Jesus Christ in the Jordan, discovered the first world, that Jesus is truly the Messiah, the great messenger of God, Saviour expected by everyone, as they come to us deliver them from the bondage of sin and death. John the baptist