pork feast


Our online Romanian classes are looking to teach you about a variety of subjects. Besides the Romanian language, we have to consider that Romania is a country that has many rituals. And, because Christmas is around the corner, today we will discuss an important event – a pork feast.

Pork feast (or Ignat) is a Romanian holiday celebrated on December 20, four days before Christmas. It is one of the oldest traditions of this country, practiced for hundreds of years.

It is a Romanian holiday that takes place in your household, where people gather from everywhere to bring an offering to the divinity, thanking for the joys and lessons received over the year and praying for happiness and abundance in the coming year.

Romanians believe that on the evening before the ceremony, respectively on the 19th, the pigs to be massacred dream of having a long string with bright red beads around their necks, a sign that they will be slaughtered. This ritual of sacrifice is very rare in the Christian religion, representing the paradox of purifying people through fasting (both in food, but especially spiritually), but also the blood of pigs.

After the pig is slaughtered by a male family member, preferably someone who has experience in this ritual (possibly having small “disciples” who, in turn, we will carry on the tradition after they grow up. or when they are prepared), the other members (who until then have watched the ritual) begin to prepare the meal.

After the meat is sorted and sliced, at least a piece of each part of the pork is chosen to be served at the big feast of the day: from muscle to tail (which is usually offered to children so that it can be fried, under parental supervision), all the pieces are placed in a large pot and cooked with numerous spices (as natural and traditional as possible).

While the pleasant smell of steak fills the yard, various traditional dishes are placed on the table that to accompany the pork: polenta, pickles, cold dishes, and, of course, a drink that will make the food slide better.

After the feast, several people gather and from the rest of the meat are cooked various traditional dishes that will be served in the rest of the days that will follow, being shared with relatives and friends who came and were invited to the feast.

A pork feast is a day that unites the whole family and all friends in the same place, making them even closer to each other. It is also the day when everyone reflects on the events of the past year, good or bad, which brought them joy, sadness or offered them different lessons, thanking them and preparing for a new year full of blessings.

More about this ritual, but also about many others, we will discuss together in the  Romanian leassons online.

At the same time, if this day of December catches you in Romania, we recommend you to take part in this event. If you have no relatives or friends, you can always visit the “Pig Alms” Festival which takes place at Balvanyos Baths, where many teams compete to prepare the most delicious meal for the jury and visitors. You will see there what this ritual means for the Romanian people. Also, you will taste a recipe very popular with Romanians.




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