Traditions18 April 2020

Romanian Easter traditions

As the period of Easter approaches, Romanians begin preparations for the big party: with traditions and folk beliefs, lamb, Easter eggs - Easter a truly baroque holiday.

”Ouă încondeiate” - Painted eggs

”Ouă încondeiate” - Painted eggs

How Romanians prepare for the Passover shows that the holiday has properties similar to the day of Christmas, both in the religious sense, and in the sense of culinary wealth. In 2015, the Orthodox Easter is celebrated on 12th April, a week after the Catholic one.

For the world, traditional Romanian Easter period begins with fasting, which began seven weeks ago.All the time remained until Easter imposes a series of interesting traditional practices, but holy week remains the most important in putting everything in place for the day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The day which represents the advance of Easter is Palm Sunday - in Romanian Floriile, i.e. the entry of Christ in Jerusalem. This moment stands out thanks to the celebrations of the people who have names of flowers or derivatives. At the same time, Floriile is the day in which you receive in church willow branches that then intertwine, and take home the crown obtained to stick to the door. It has a patron role for the home and family. On this day it is said that we must pay attention to the weather because we will have the same weather for Easter.

Another day of great interest for the awaiting of Easter is Holy Thursday, when people remember the dead. This moment has been described for the „Imperiul Transylvania” by the members of the family Gavril-Coroama in the neighbourhood Mehala in Timişoara: ,,On Holy Thursday, we go to buy new cups with which to give water to the dead of the family. For every cup we pick a flower from our garden and tie it to the cup. Then we give the cups away in the memory of the dead, but not before adding colaci (small loaves destined to the memory of the disappeared), or some sweets.'' In other places, to commemorate the dead, fires are ignited in cemeteries, since it is believed that in the days of Holy Week the sky is opened and the two worlds meet.

Then follows Black Friday, destined to the hardest type of fastening, i.e. without food and water. On this day, Easter eggs are painted and decorated. In Romania there is also the art of „ ouă încondeiate” - painted eggs with traditional motifs and very famous. On the same day, they prepare specific foods, especially meat preparations of lamb and Easter bread typically Romanian, called Pasca.

On the Saturday before the Mass of Resurrection, people finish the making of food, clean the house and go to church. The same interviewed family, Gavril-Coroama say that in the district of Mehala, before attending to their religions and customs, people make a turn to the Christians of the other two churches, because in the neighbourhood there are three houses of God: Orthodox, Catholic and Serbian Orthodox. It is important then that you take the candle you get home without putting off.

Usually, after the procession, all the families return home and get together around the table. Fasting being finished, you can taste the delicacies prepared and practice the tradition of colliding eggs and exclaiming phrases that prove the Resurrection of Jesus.

For the day of Easter, besides the religious content, the daughter of the interviewed family reminds us of a custom known to Romanians, pointing cosmetic appearance: ,,In the morning of Easter, we wash your face with water where we had put money and a red egg to have a red face all year.''

And because we are happy when we receive gifts, the Easter bunny is the one willing to satisfy the claims of all, especially those of children.The Romanian shops are crammed with figures of chocolate and several surprises for family and friends.  





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