Presentation on theme: "Easter in Romania The Easter is the most important celebration of the Romanian people and it is preceded by numerous preparations and rituals. It’s a."— Presentation transcript:
Easter in Romania The Easter is the most important celebration of the Romanian people and it is preceded by numerous preparations and rituals. It’s a must for the people to have a clean house and have all the ritual foods ready. On Good Thursday, men who are usually working in the field or at the forest, will remain home starting with this day and will take out the thrash, fix the fence, cut wood, bring water, butcher the lambs. Usually, women are the ones who paint and decorate the eggs, do the laundry and generally clean the house. Because it’s a good thing to have a new piece of clothing on the Easter, girls and young wives start to sew shirts for them and also for their parents, brothers, husbands or children, with about two weeks in advance.
Easter in Romania Christian Easter lasts 40 days. The first 3 of the 40 pascal days are holiday in Romania. In the orthodox church people prepare to welcome the pascal celebrations through "Easter's Lent", also called "The Great Lent", which lasts 8 days. The Great Lent consists in eating only vegetal food (meat, milk, eggs, or other animal products are forbidden; also vegetal oil is forbidden), not drinking alcohol, and praying. This period can be also days without eating and drinking anything. The last week of the Easter's Lent is called "The Holly Week"(The Passion Week) and starts on Palm Sunday, when is celebrated Jesus's arrival in Jerusalem. "The Holly Week" celebrates Jesus's capture, his crucifixion and his death. During this final week, the churches hold services called "evening service during passion week" every evening.
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Palm Sunday („Florii”) A week before the Easter, the Flowers Day – Palm Sunday (Romanian: “Florii”) is celebrated. This was initially dedicated to the Roman goddess Flora, but then it was celebrated in the memory of the Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem. The legend goes that, while Jesus was crucified, His mother left, crying, in the search of her son, wearing iron boots and a steel rod. On her journey she arrived at a river and asked a willow to help her cross it. As the willow made a bridge for her, Mary put a blessing on it, stating that its wood could not be transformed into coal and that its branches would be taken to church every year.
Palm Sunday („Florii”) That is why, on this day people bring flowers and willow branches to the church, for being sanctified by the priest. With the willow branches, symbol of spring and fertility, cows and little children are touched, in order to grow and bloom as the willow. The holy branches are then placed near the icons or above the door and are used throughout the year as a medicine or for protection against the natural disasters. It is also believed that the people who wear the willow branches as a belt will not suffer of loin aches; who eats three catkins will not suffer of throat aches.
THE HOLY THURSDAY The Thursday before the Easter is called “the Holy Thursday”, “the Thursday of sufferings” or “the black Thursday”. Skies, graves, doors of heaven and hell open in this day. The dead return to pass the Easter near the loved ones. They will remain at their old houses until the Saturday before the „Rusalii”, when pies and bowls are doled for their souls. It is believed that the spirits sit on the roofs or in the yards. As it is still quite cold, fires must be lighted in the morning and in the evening, so that the dead could have light and heat. The fires are lighted for every soul or it is only lighten a fire for all the dead souls. The brushwood can only be gathered by children, pure girls and old women, a day before and only by hand (they must not be cut). On the way home they must not be let down and will be placed on a fence or on another object until morning, when the fire will be lighted. Chairs with blankets are also put near the fire, as it is believed that some souls will sit on chairs and other will sit on the ground. Girls and women carry water buckets to the graves or to the fire, for the dead that will sit there.
Good Friday The Friday before the Easter is called the Good Friday. Also named “the Friday of sufferings”, it is the day when Jesus was crucified. People don’t eat on this day, as it is believed that doing that they will be healthy and they will know they’ll dye three days before. The tradition recommends that you step on a piece of iron when you wake up, in order to be protected from bruises. If you bathe in the river before the sun rises, you won’t suffer from bone illness. In Bucovina it is said that who bathes three times in a cold river will be healthy all year long.
Good Friday In this day people go to church and they will walk under the table for 3 times. The table is the simbol of tomb of Jesus, and this action is like people don’t find him in the tomb, because of his resurrection. People go to church to confess. Bread may not be baked, the earth may not be ploughed and trees may not be planted, as they won’t fruit. It is said that if in this day will rain it will be a wealthy year, if not, it will be a year without rains in the summer.
Saturday night Saturday night, when all the cleaning and preparations in the house are done, the steak, the pies and the cakes are put on the table, in the “clean room”. Before going to the church, people wash themselves in a bowl with water, where red painted eggs and silver and golden coins were also put. They believe that this way they will be as glowing and healthy as the eggs and they will be clean and will have more money, due to the silver and golden coins. After they clean and dress the new clothes, the people take a bowl with “pasca”, eggs and steak and go to the church, where the aliments will be sanctified. Only the ill old men and little children remain at home, as it is said that who can go to the church on Easter night, but he doesn’t do it, will get ill.
Saturday night A fire is lighted near the church and it will be kept for all the three Easter days. In some regions, when the roosters announce the midnight, the man who watches the fire shuts with his rifle, calling the people to the church. The bells are also ringed at midnight, announcing all the people about the Jesus’s resurrection. People hold lighted candles during the religious mass and only put them out when they return home, after they enter the house and make crosses. These Easter candles are kept for the times of danger, when they will have a protective function. Also, people go with lighted candle to the graveyard to give light those who passed away.
First Easter Day At home, people first taste the anaphora and then sit to the table. They first eat some of the sanctified aliments and only then the rest. In some regions, rabbit or fish meat are first eaten, believing that these animals will confer to the people some of their agility. The shepherds and the other persons who are away from home on Easter day eat willow or apple tree buds instead of anaphora. There’s the custom of knocking the eggs. It is believed that those who knock their eggs will see each other on the other world, after death. In the first day of Easter, eggs are only knocked with the top. On Monday they can be knocked top to the bottom and on the next days they can be knocked any way. The first ones to knock their eggs are the parents, one to the other, then the children to the parents and then the other relatives and friends. According to the tradition, the one whose egg cracks first is weaker. Eggs are knocked until the third Easter day.
DECORATED EASTER EGGS The most interesting traditional eggs are the decorated eggs (in Romanian they are called “oua incondeiate”, “oua impiestrite”, “oua inchiestrite”). Special instruments are used for decorating them. These take the form of very thin and round sticks and are called “chisita (bijara)”, “matuf (motoc)” or “festeleu”. The “festeleu” is a sharp stick made of beech wood. At one end it has linen or cotton little pieces. The “festeleu” is soaked in melted wax. In contact with the surface of the egg, little dots will appear. The most used decorative motifs for these eggs are: the lost path (on which the souls of the dead walk toward the judgment), the cross, the fir or oak leaf. In Walachia the saw and the plough are also drawn and in Moldavia the lightning and the fork. Various plants, animals and kinds of crosses are also drawn.
TRADITIONAL FOOD FOR EASTER ”Pasca”, a special Easter cake, is baked on Great Thursday, but especially on Saturday, so it wouldn’t alter until Easter. It has a round shape (reminding little Jesus’ diapers) or a rectangular one (the shape of His grave). In some regions “pasca” is also baked on St. George Day. A legend from Bucovina goes that the “pasca” has been done from the times when Jesus was traveling to the world together with his apostles. They remained a night at a peasant house and when they left, he put food in their bags. The apostles asked Jesus when the Easter is and He replied that the Easter would be when they would find corn bread in their bags. Looking in the bags, they noticed the peasant had given them exactly corn bread, so that they knew it was Easter time. The “pasca” can be simple, with jagged margins, or it can have dough braids. The middle braid is cross-shaped, reminding of Jesus’ crucifixion. This is called a “cross pasca”. The simple “pasca” is for the family, while the “cross pasca” is taken to the church, in order to be sanctified. Small “pasca” (“pascute”) are baked for the little children. Among the ingredients are pot cheese, egg yolk, raisins and sometimes sugar and cinnamon.