Romania Traditions Customs Holidays National Day
A calendar containing the official, religious and traditional holidays with short descriptions of the popular customs on these occasions.
v† 1st of January – New Year's Day and Saint Vasile’s Day. Popular tradition – large group of people go from house to house to greet the villagers.
v† 6th of January – The Epiphany – The day when Jesus was baptized by Saint John. Religious tradition: the water is hallowed, the priests go in every house to prepare the households for the new year and a cross thrown in a river or lake and some young men are trying to find it and bring it back. Popular tradition: predictions of the weather and harvests of the new year.
† 7th of January – Saint John’s Day
24th of January – 1859 Union Day – in this year Moldavia and Wallachia united in a single state
v 24th of February – Dragobetele – Romanian correspondent of Saint Valentine’s Day. Popular tradition: boys and girls have to meet altogether in order to be involve all the year.
v 1st of March – Mărţişor – the celebration of spring. Popular tradition: amulets with red-white thread are offered to women to were them for a few days.
v 1st -9th of March - Babele (the Old Lady Days). Popular tradition: everyone choose one of these days; the weather in that day shows how the year is going to be for the person who chose that day. Source legend: as she was climbing a mountain, old lady Dochia threw one by one, day by day all 9 sheepskin coats she was wearing. In the last day, the 9th, she died and turned into a rock.
v† 9th of March – Mucenicii – All Saints’ Day. Religious tradition: a special food is prepared, is recommended to drink 40-44 glasses of wine (one for every saint martyr) and in this day the gates of heaven are opened and the souls of the ones who passed away are among us. Popular tradition: this is the day of the vernal equinox (after the old calendar) and fires are set in every yard in order to purify the land and the lights help the sun to defeat the darkness.
† 25th of March – The Good News – In this day, virgin Mary is announced that she will give birth to Jesus.
† EASTER – holiday without a fix date – usually one week after the Catholic Easter. Religious tradition: special foods are prepared – especially using lamb and eggs are painted (with or without phytomorphic or zoomorphic motifs). The colors that are used are red, yellow, blue, green and black. The most important is red which symbolizes, Jesus’ blood when He was crucified.
† 23rd of April – Saints George’s Day
1st of May – International Workers’ Day
† 21st of May – Saint Constantine’s and Saint Hellen’s Day
1st of June – International Children’s Day
v 24th of June – Sânzienele (Drăgaica) – Goddess of the wheat fields and married women. Popular tradition: girls are wearing coronets of flowers named Sânziana (Drăgaica) then throw them on the village houses to bring luck or to show if the girl who threw it gets married that year.
† 15th of August – Holly Virgin Assumption
† 8th of September - The birth of Virgin Mary
† 14th of September - The Cross Day. Holiday dedicated to the gathering of the last remedying plants, rockets and others. People say that on this day the flowers complain on to another that they will dry up and also say that those that blossom after this date - the autumn crocus - belong to the dead. This holiday is the sign for the beginning of the gathering of the crops from the vineyards and of the nuts.
1st of December – National Day (1918 Union Day). In this year all Romanian provinces united in a single state named Romania (Moldavia, Wallachia, Transylvania, Bukovina, Bessarabia, Dobrudja)
v† 25th of December – Christmas Day – celebration of the baby Jesus birth. Popular tradition: special foods are prepared (especially with pork). On Christmas Eve, and the next two days, young people go from house to house and sing carols with religious themes (the three Kings journey, the birth of baby Jesus)
† 26th of December - the second Christmas Day
v 31st of December – New Years Eve – the end of the year. Popular tradition: “goat dance” and “plough” – performances in which young boys go awassailing through the village. These are ment to conclude the year that just ends and to wish all the best for the year to come.
- Official holiday
v- Traditional holiday
† - Religious holiday