Christmas in R omania. BY : PASCU PAUL .
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BY : PASCU PAUL
Christmas in Romania is a major annual celebration, as in most countries of the Christian world. The observance of Christmas was introduced once with the Christianization of Romania but it was then interrupted during the Communist period (1948—1989), as concepts as religion, Jesus Christ or the Church were banned. In the post-communist Romania, Christmas started being celebrated again more festively. The Christmas and holiday season starts officially on November 30, on Saint Andrew's day and ends on January 7, with the celebration of Saint John. Other major holidays in this period are Great Union Day, Saint Nicholas Day, Saint Ignatius Day, Christmas Eve Christmas Day, Saint Stephen day, New Year's Eve, and the Epiphany.
The seven-week Advent in the await of Jesus Christ's birth should be practiced by all Eastern Christian Romanians. It starts on November 14 yearly and ends up on Christmas Day. November 14, the first day of advent is traditionally called Lăsatasecului (literary the day the abstinence begins). Any kind of product obtained from animal sources are prohibited.Also, on Wednesdays and on Fridays oil among other products are not to be eaten. Some special days (for example Saint Ignatius Day or Great Union Day) occur during the period when Christians are allowed to eat fish or dairy. The Christmas Eve should be a day of total abstinence to thank God for sending us The Savior. All said, there are forty days of advent (seven to nine of them being exceptions) being the second abstinence period as length during the Romanian religious year, after the Easter advent.
The seven-week Advent in the await of Jesus Christ's birth should be practiced by all Eastern Christian Romanians. It starts on November 14 yearly and ends up on Christmas Day. November 14, the first day of advent is traditionally called Lăsatasecului (literary the day the abstinence begins). Any kind of product obtained from animal sources are prohibited. Also, on Wednesdays and on Fridays oil among other products are not to be eaten.Some special days (for example Saint Ignatius Day or Great Union Day) occur during the period when Christians are allowed to eat fish or dairy. The Christmas Eve should be a day of total abstinence to thank God for sending us The Savior. All said, there are forty days of advent (seven to nine of them being exceptions) being the second abstinence period as length during the Romanian religious year, after the Easter advent.
During Christmastime, Romanian bake or buy various special dishes, including desserts, sweets or fries. Romanians most usually bake Cozonac, a somewhat of a Panetone made of flour, yolks, yeast and many other dependable ingredients, flavors, condiments and additions. There are several types of cozonac, with hundreds of recipes. You can either knead it for hours to be out in 6 hours or you can let it crease for 12 hours to avoid kneading it. You can fill the cozonac with chestnuts, cocoa, raisins or Turkish delights. Other Christmas dishes include piftie, sarmale or pork dishes.
Music is an important part of Christmas celebration all over Romania. There is a special genre of music, related to Christmas carols but with more traditional / Christian lyrics. These are named colindă. Although the text of all colinde is concerned with the events of the Nativity, certain elements of the folk rituals performed around Christmas are probably pre-Christian in origin, having their roots in the Roman Saturnalia and pagan rituals related to the winter solstice and soil fertility. Colinde are performed in all parts of Romania (including Moldova), with regional variations in terms of number of participants, exact timing of different melodies and lyrics.
Examples of colinde with religious subject are "Astăzi s-a născutHristos" (Today Christ Was Born), "O, cevesteminunată!" (Oh, What Wonderful News!), "Treipăstori" (Three Shepherds), "Treicrai de la rărărit", "Steaua" (The Star) or "Sus la poartaRaiului" (Up at Heaven's Gate). The first two ones talk about the Nativity of Jesus. The first one indicates people to pray for Jesus and thank him for being born while the other one informs us how Christ was born and praises Mary. The other ones tell the stories of the Three shepherds, Three Magi and of the Christmas star. The latter one, "Sus la poartaRaiului" is a portrait of the Manger during Jesus' nativity.
Tradition adornment tree and house with fir branches is usually over the past half millennium of Germanic tribes, tree triangular shape symbolizes the Trinity and the tree is adorned with ornaments signifying knowledge and wealth, like the sacred tree of the Garden Eden, they were in apple-fruit of knowledge.
Little is known that the Dacians had a cult fir, but with totally different meaning: the tree was a tree cut wedding ritual or the death of someone. The custom still kept this in southern Banat and Oltenia regions. Thus, in the funeral ritual'' wedding tree represent "dead divinity and nature.
The tree, decorated in old fruit, flowers, gilded nuts, candles and ribbons symbolize the tree of life, tree fertilizer auspicious. Tree symbol is found in many parts of folk art such as carpets, towels and laid.
Nowadays decorate the Christmas tree has become one of the most beloved traditions in both rural and urban , with the anticipation of Christmas Eve Santa Claus . In the stories of our ancestors , the tree was often brought Santa when the kids were asleep . Or instead of Santa Claus did not see the tree than passing under the window.
Plastic or natural , miniature or huge tree is missing from any house ( house of children ) in St. Christmas evening with a feverish impatience increased with small and large waiting time magic tree adornment .
Tinsel , colored globes that shine light candles and colored lights that give life like tree , the star announcing the birth of Jesus perched atop the tree , angels who urge us to live Holy Child Birth emotions , all we know the night.
After days of Christmas , the tree remains as seasonal decorations as pride ( especially chic housewives today ) or because they do not endure to throw it too fast. However , in most of the homes there Roman custom of tree to be discarded ( burned in fire for fun children ) before Epiphany and will primeneasca home for Baptism of the Lord . At that time nostalgia Christmas tree is expelled to the New Year to make room in the full sense of the word.