Romanians’s easter holiday follows the Orthodox calendar, which is usually different from the date when other Christian churches celebrate. Although in western coutnries, Easter seems to have lost much of its importance, Easter is viewed as important as Christmas in Romania. Families gather together, eat special foods and they go to church. There are also many other important traditions that are held. In this article, I have comprised 11 Romanian Easter Traditions.
- Attending the church mass in the middle of the night. At around 11 o’clock at night people go to church where they attend the Easter mass. The traffic will stop around churches and people will put their baskets at the side of the road, waiting for the priest to come and bless their food.
2. At the church they will share light, which means they will light candles from the church. The light symbolises the rise of Christ. This candle will be brought at home.
3. Lamb. Romanians do not usually eat lamb, however on Easter everyone has lamb dishes prepared specially for this religious celebration. The lamb will also be taken to church to be blessed.
4. Taking a basket with food and drink to church. On Easter night, people will take their baskets with food- lamb, cakes, wine and candles to church. These will be blessed by the priest.
5. When arriving home the person who brings the Holy Light will have to make a cross using the candle smoke on the beam. This will protect the house from bad energy.
6. “Pasca” is a special bread that is eaten only on Easter. It is made from the highest wheat quality and it has a cross in the middle.
7. In Transylvania boys and young men visit unmarried girls and sprinkle them with perfume. This habbit was borrowed from Hungarians and Austrians. The sprinkling of perfume used to be done in noble families at the end of XIX century. The tradition says that women are perfumed so they will smell like flowers all year long and they will bear beautiful children.
In some areas, boys say little poems and then they ask for permission to sprinkle girls with perfume. In the countryside girls and women used to be properly showered with buckets of water.
8. Egg dyeing. All Romanians colour their eggs using either natural dyes ( made from onion peels) or using store bought dyes. Some are more creative and decorate them using herb leaves.
9. Egg tapping. Guests will strike red dyed eggs against one with the head of the household and they will say “Christ has risen!”. The person who manages to win and keep their egg uncracked will have the longest life.
10. In Sibiu on Easter night trees are decorated with red eggs.
11.In Banat area children wash their face with a special water in which a red egg has been kept overnight.