Traditions02 February 2021

Stretenia or the Feast of the Bear is celebrated on February 2

The bear is one of the most important animal in the archaic history of the Romanian people and the bear worship dates back to the Dacians

Stretenia or the Feast of the Bear

Stretenia or the Feast of the Bear

The role of the horse, bear and wolf as landmarks in the annual flow of time was maintained even in the ancestral and Romanian solar calendar, and their worship was enhanced and reinforced by the folk creation (beliefs, legends, proverbs, fables, etc.) and by the popular artistic creation. Bear is one of the most important animals in the archaic history of the Romanian people.

The cult of the bear goes back, apparently, to the period of the Dacians. It is said that next to Pythagoras, the famous ancient philosopher, there was a young man, originally from Thrace, called Zalmoxis. This name was given because he was wrapped in a bearskin. Indeed, the Dacians called the bearskin "zalmos". Zalmoxis, wrapped in bearskin, appears like Harap-Alb, son of the bear, and indicates the supremacy of the Dacian’s warrior caste, in that time.

The bear has been dedicated a feast in the traditional space, probably very important in a time, called Stretenia, included in the winter cycle feasts of Martins. They alleged prehistoric deities, patrons of the bears, celebrated 40 days (!) after Christmas (1-3 February), for the protection, especially of the cattle against the beasts of the forest.

The strongest and most dangerous of them, Martin the Great, is celebrated on February 2, also called the Bear's Day, or Stretenia. This day opens, according to the beliefs, the Viticulture and Fruit Tree New Year, dedicated to the mythical representation of the same ame, synonymous with Stretenia. In the popular calendar, the Bear Feast takes place in the middle of the Winter Filips (Muntenia, Oltenia) or the Winter Martins (Banat).

In the Orthodox Christian calendar, on February 2, it is celebrated the Candlemas. In both cases, for the Feast of the Bear or for the feast of Baba Dochia, it is believed that winter meets summer, a favourable moment for meteorological and astronomical observation, to prophesy the richness of the vine, the fruit trees and of other trees.

Therefore, it is believed that in this day the bear comes out its den and if he sees his shadow (clear skies), he will return in the den, but if there is bad weather (and does not see his shadow) he will remain out as a sign that winter is over.  

Gheorghe SECHESAN

AIRPORTS


CONSULATES GENERAL


USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS

  • 112 - Apeluri de urgenta (Nr. unic de urgenta)
  • 118932 - Informatii numere de telefon
  • 1958 - Ora exacta
  • 0256-437973 - Centrul de Informare Turistica Timisoara
  • 0256-493806 - Informatii CFR
  • 0256-493471 - Autogara Autotim Timisoara
  • 0256-493639 - Aeroportul International Timisoara
  • 0256-220835 - Oficiul Registrul Comertului
  • 0256-408300 - Primaria Timisoara
  • 0256-493694 - Consiliul Judeţean Timis
  • 0256-493393 - Timpark ( N. Titulescu 10- ADP)
  • 0256-402703 - Politia rutiera
  • 0256-246112 - Politia locală

TAXI

  • Radio Taxi - 0256-940
  • Euro Taxi - 0256-941
  • Pro Taxi - 0256-942
  • Fan Taxi - 0256-944
  • Tudo Taxi - 0256-945
  • Autogen Taxi - 0256-988

RENT A CAR

International editions:   English | Italiano | Română