Romanian folk customs, traditions and superstitions of Easter. Easter traditions in Transylvania, Banat, Bucovina, Moldova

The feast of the Holy Passover is the most glorious and solemn of the feasts of the year, which brings to mankind the hope of salvation and eternal life, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

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Customs, traditions and superstitions at Easter

In the Orthodox tradition, the beginning of the holiday is marked with the fast of seven weeks. A very important significance is the Holy Thursday of Passion Week. From this day on, the peasants stop working in the fields and focus on the house and the yard so that everything is clean. Also on Holy Thursday, the women begin to prepare the Passover and paint the eggs.

According to tradition, at midnight between Saturday and Sunday, people wake up to the ringing of bells. They wash themselves with clean water, put on new clothes, take a candle and go to the church where the priest, with the Holy Gospel and the cross in his hand, followed by the procession of believers, comes out with the lighted candle and surrounds the church three times.

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When the priest says, “Christ is risen!” all those present at this religious service say, “Truly he is risen!”, the answer being the recognition of the mystery of the Resurrection. With the candle lit, everyone returns home and makes a small cross on the east wall, smoking it with the candle, which he will keep for the rest of the year. People are allowed to eat food (Easter / bread, red eggs, lamb, salt and wine) only after they have been sanctified and after each person has attended the Mass.

* Easter customs in the regions of Romania

Like any great Christian event celebrated in our country, this time too we have customs inherited from ancient times, depending on the region:

In the The Land of the Moths, on Easter night, she takes the toaca from the church, goes to the cemetery and is guarded by the boys. And if they did not guard it well, and it was stolen, they are punished to give a feast the next day, that is, food and drink from which both the “thieves” and the “spoilers” enjoyed themselves. If those who tried to steal the toque failed, then they will be the ones to pay for the feast.

sprayingProbably the most notorious is usually from Transylvania area, known as “splashing”. According to him – taken from the Hungarians – the boys go to the families where there is one or more girls, which they sprinkle with perfume, “so that they do not wither”. The “sprinkling” is still preserved today and is a good opportunity for a reunion with friends, and, after all, fun.

In the Barsa Country, around Brasov, there is a party that brings together the whole community – the custom of June Brasov. Groups of young people, organized like hordes of calluses or carolers, with vataf and cashier, collect eggs from the young girls, after which they go to Solomon’s Stones, at the picnic, where competitions will take place. The most well-known and beloved of these is the throwing of the mace.

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In the area Câmpulung Moldovenesc, the tradition is distinguished by the complexity of the symbols, of the belief in the miraculous power of the blessing prayer of the dishes. At dawn on Sunday, the faithful go out into the churchyard, sit in a circle, carrying lighted candles in their hands, waiting for the priest to sanctify and bless the pieces of the Easter basket.

Such a basket is prepared in front of each householder, according to the order of the ancestors. In the basket covered with a woven napkin with a specific pattern of the area are placed, on a plate, the symbols of joy for the whole year: poppy seeds (which will be thrown into the river to ward off drought), salt (which will be kept to bring abundance ), sugar (used whenever the cattle are sick), flour (so that the wheat fruit is rich), onions and garlic (with the role of protection against insects). On top of this plate are Easter, ham, cheese, red eggs, but also poached eggs, money, flowers, smoked fish, horseradish beets, and cakes. After the consecration of this Easter basket, the ritual of Fr.maramuresyou would continue in the family.

A very beautiful custom is kept in Maramureş, Lăpuş area. On the morning of the first day of Easter, the children (up to the age of 9) go to their friends and neighbors to announce the Resurrection of the Lord. The host gives each hater a red egg. Upon departure, the children thank the gift and wish the hosts “Happy Holidays!” On this holiday, the threshold of the house must first be crossed by a boy, so that there is no discord in that household for the rest of the year.

to Calarasi, at the Resurrection service, the faithful bring in the Easter basket, for blessing, red eggs, cozonoc and white roosters. Roosters are bred specifically to fulfill this tradition. They announce midnight: the tradition of the ancestors says that when the roosters sing, Christ is risen! The luckiest is the owner whose rooster crows first. It is a sign that there will be plenty in his house that year. After the service, the roosters are given to the poor

* Easter customs and Easter traditions in some areas of Romania

In the grief, at the breakfast on the first day of Easter, the tradition of incense is practiced. Then, each diner receives a teaspoon of Easter (wine + holy bread). The menu for this festive meal includes boiled pork chops, egg whites and traditional dishes, followed by a meal of lamb steak.

pasta in BucovinaIn the Bucovina, the girls go to the bell tower on the night of the Resurrection and wash the tongue of the bell with unopened water. With this water they wash the girl at the dawn of Easter, so that they may be beautiful all year round, and just as people run to the Resurrection when the church bells are rung, so may the virgins run to them. The young men must go with flowers to the houses where the girls who are dearest to them live, and they, in order to show their consent to their feelings, must offer them a red egg.

In the Moldavia, the next morning after the night of the Resurrection a red and a white egg is placed in a bowl of water that must contain coins, children must rinse their face with water and touch their cheeks with eggs to have a year full of riches . Another tradition on the banks of the Prut requires that the Easter egg be eaten and the shells be thrown on the road.

* Easter customs, beliefs and superstitions

– At the Resurrection it is good to put on a new garment, new clothing, like water, has a purifying role.

– On Easter day it is not good to sleep, because in the rest of the year you will be sleepy, you will have bad luck, the worms will eat the seeds, the harvest will be destroyed and the rain will catch you whenever you want to work the field.

holy light– The Resurrection candle should be kept in the house and lit in case of illness, natural disasters, upsets.

– On Easter morning, it’s a good idea to look for the first time in a bucket of fresh water. It is said that you will have good eyesight for the rest of the year.

– It is said that it is good to wash your face with fresh water from a new cup, in which you put a red egg, a white one, a silver coin and a blade of green grass, signs of health, prosperity and growth in all.

“You don’t eat salted eggs on Easter, they say you sweat all year round.”

– Easter, the cross on it or the anaphora are considered medicinal, so pieces of them are kept for a year.

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– The rooster sanctified at Easter was believed to be a source of abundance, health and love. In ancient times, people brought roosters to the Resurrection service, on the grounds that the one to whom the first rooster crows that night would be lucky all year round. Then the roosters were given alms to the poor.

– At the Easter table it is good to eat an egg first, it is believed that it brings health to the body throughout the year, then fish and bird, to be sprinting like a fish and as light as a bird.

– With whom you collide the painted eggs on Easter day, you will meet in the other world.

or red– If you keep a red egg 40 days after Easter and it doesn’t spoil, you’ll be lucky all year long.

– At Easter, a piece of iron was placed under the threshold, as a protection for the house.

– If the first person to enter your house is a man, you’ll be lucky all year long.

– At Easter, there is a belief that the heavens open, allowing the souls of the dead to return home to protect their dear relatives.

– It is said that those who die on Easter Sunday are exempt from the Divine Judgment, their souls going straight to heaven.

– Children born at Easter are blessed with a bright and happy life.

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