Pre-Christian & Christian The central figure of this feast is Sântandrei a pre-Christian divinity, personification of the wolf, over which Christianity superimposed on St. Andrew „The First Called”, Protector of Romania. Sântandrei took over as name and date of celebration of the Apostle Andrew (30 November).
Saint Andrew he lived in Galilee Andrew (Greek: manly, brave, from ἀνδρεία, Andreia, "manhood, valour") A Christian apostle, brother of Saint Peter He was a fisherman He is the patron saint of Scotland, Romania Greece and Russia
St. Andrew in the popular calendar – Sântandrei, Beginning of Winter Is the time when Peter and Andrew (known as the saints patron of wolves) unleash the evil forces represented by the undead and wolf. In this night the spirits of the dead and the undead steal milk and field’s abundance. Effective remedies against this evil forces: salt, poppy, hemp and garlic.
Night of the living dead Saint Andrew’s Eve (29th November)
Night of the living dead Spirits of the dead get out of the tombs and start to fight until the rooster crows. To protect themselves from hazards, Romanian peasants have anointed with garlic the window and door, in order to protect the house.
Guarding the garlic On the night of November 29 th, young people were eating and having a party, having in the center of the table some garlic bulbs surrounded by incense and candles scraps from Easter. In the morning, the youth went in the backyard where they were dancing around the garlic, then the garlic was shared among participants. Sometimes they took this garlic to church to be sanctified. It was stored near icon, and used throughout the year against the charms of love and to cure diseases.
Covaa (similar to boza) Ritual fermented beverage prepared from corn flour or corn or millet which was consumed in Sântandrei Day, especially in the eastern part of Romania. The taste is sweet and sour drink, similar to boza. Covaa was shared to neighbors in bowls or pots for cows to milk, and milk to be good. In Moldovia it was believed that every man owes to eat it to be protected against the undead.
Andrei’s bread The girls who wanted to know their future husband prepare in this day „Andrei” bread from water, flour and salt in equal quantities, measured by a nutshell. Girls will eat this bread, and in their dream the future husband will come to provide water.
Knowing their future husband In Bucovina (North part of Romania), girls put under pillow 41 seeds of wheat, invoking their guardian angel and God to show them in dream the future husband.
Divinations To appreciate the future, girls prepared a round bread of yeast dough and they put in the middle of it a clove of of garlic. The bread was left for a week in warm place. If garlic sprouted the girl was lucky.
Beliefs and Superstitions To protect the house, household and family by the undead’s evil action, people resorted to a series of magical acts and gestures. Substances with the highest efficiency were: garlic, salt, hemp and poppy seeds. On this day people don’t work to not get ill and to keep wolves from households. Women do not clean the pavements keep the wolves away from cattle.
Sântandrei, Winter Andrew, Indrea, Wolf Day St. Andrew (November 30) -
Wolf Day Women stop housework and they don’t: purr, sweep, throw the garbage out of the house, clean the stables, comb their hair, make any scratches, give alms give any loan.
Traditions wolves gather in hounds of 12 and shall be separated on the day when we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. Also now they receive the gift to bend the neck, from here the belief that wolves "see their tail.“ When wolves gather in hounds howled believed they pray to St. Peter to decide their prey. Wolves are Saint Peter's dogs with whom he starts looking for demons. St. Peter decides every night the cattle that wolves have to eat.
Traditions On this night wolves (females) steal coal from garbage to give birth on the night of St. George, wolf cubs that it can’t be found. Women boil corn or wheat they mix with nuts and sugar or honey and consume them after they give to neighbors also. On this day people eat fish.
Protective practices On this night people eat a break soaked in garlic or other foods with garlic. To be protect their backyard by the action of the living dead and wolves, people rub the gates with garlic.
Beliefs and superstitions: Who works in this day is tormented by the undead and has bad dreams or the demon kills their children. Who use the comb on this day will be eaten by wolf. On this day people don’t say the word “wolf” not to meet with him over the year. On this day people don’t sew to protect their havrvest by bugs. It is celebrated with fasting for the fulfillment of desires such as marriage or healing.
Weather On Saint Andrew’s Nigh is observed the Moon. If the moon is full and the sky is clear, winter will be warm, if the Moon is full and the sky will be dark, snows or rains, during the winter will snow a lot.
Oracle Tonight people sown wheat in a bowl of earth. The wheat which will grow beautiful and green, will have lucky. The same purpose is put in water branches with buds. The way in which the wheat grows will show the fertility of fields in next year.