Today’s article is special and relevant. And, if you allow me to say, kind of celebrational. We already said many things for different subjects through this corner, we already made together some Romanian lessons by providing you words and phrases usual for your first steps in your way to learn the Romanian language, until of course you consider of hiring a Romanian teacher! (except if you have the time and the patience to learn them by yourself through maybe an ‘’online Romanian lessons’’ site or even in person).
Today we will speak about Romanian Christmas traditions and customs. It is a reality that, as the years pass, keeping a custom alive, it is proved to be a tough task. Fortunately, there are people, professors, folklorists, even simple persons, that set as purpose in their lives to maintain these traditions. And good thing, there are many.
Colinde de Crăciun-Christmas carols
Starting with our subject, we couldn’t have thought of something else than the Colinde-Carol singing. On Christmas Eve-Ajunul Crăciunului, the groups of children (and not only) go from door to door singing the traditional carols. The owners give them dulciuri-sweets mostly and sometimes bani-money. Unfortunately, this custom is maintained mostly in the villages and less in the cities. In some areas in Romania, they keep it even more ‘’live’’ by wearing traditional clothes, like in Maramures.
Remaining in the singing area, there is the custom of the Capra-song of the goat. Same story here, groups of young men go from door to door and one of them is dressed like a goat and dances while the others sing.
Then, there is the ‘’Viflaim’’ play. Again, the door to door thing, but this time, the young men will imitate through a mini theatrical play, the scene where King Herod asked from his soldiers to murder all the new born babies under 3 years old trying to kill Jesus. After the play, they sing.
Afterwards, we have the famous ‘’Junii’’. These are a group (another one!) of young men who sings specific carols to unmarried young women.
Masa de Crăciun-Christmas dinner
Now let’s say some words about the traditional dishes they prepare and serve on Christmas in Romania. To begin with, there is sarmale which are also served on Easter and they are stuffed cabbage leaves with meat, ciorbă de porc, which is basically a pork soup, a big variety of meat and sausages (mostly pork) and as for the sweets, they have the famous cozonac, a special fluffy cake with walnut cream and poppyseeds and gogoși, a type of doughnuts.
Speaking about mâncarea tradițională de Crăciun-traditional Christmas food and especially carne de porc-pork meat, we have the custom of the tăierea porcului-pig slaughtering and I hope the veggies forgive us! Usually, on December 20th or Ignat– St. Ignat day, in the countryside, in most of the households, they slaughter a pig. From its meat, they will prepare the cârnații-sausages and the rest of its parts in order to be consumed on Christmas.
Regarding Christmas decorating customs in Romania, there is of course the-împodobitul bradului de Crăciun-Christmas tree decoration, which traditionally they do it on Christmas Eve, exactly right before the colindatorii-carollers come. Nowadays, families tend to decorate the tree way before the Christmas Eve in order for the children to enjoy it more.
In this category, there is the custom of Steaua ‘’The Star’’. It’s about a type of carol, in which is sang by children in the houses while showing a homemade star with tinsels and symbolizes the star that the wise men followed to reach baby Jesus.
Romania is a wonderful country. And trust me, on Christmas it gets even more beautiful. In most of its places you will find snow and what better of snowy holidays! So, wait no more and start learning Romanian!
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