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I’m Romanian and I am proud of it! And today I will share with you some of the wonders of my beautiful country so that you’ll understand why!

HAPPY 1ST OF DECEMBER my Romanian lovelies, it’s our Country’s birthday again!

I live in Romania, Bucharest/București – the city known as Little Paris!… Many of you my lovelies might not know where that is and I won’t blame you at all! It’s a small country in the SE part of Europe, a country made famous mostly by legends – dead: Dracula, well Vlad Țepeș or the Impaler and alive Nadia Comăneci ( the gymnast with 1st and only perfect 10 in the history of gymnastics), and by “the best road in the world”, the Transfăgărășan ( Top Gear, 2009 )…

 

What is less known is that Petrache Poenaru, a humble Romanian invented the pen… Another Romanian discovered that microorganisms can inhibit the development of some pathogens long before Flemming talked about penicillin – his name was Victor Babeș… The founder of Geriatry as a science was a woman, the Romanian Ana Aslan, one of the precursors of the modern skin care treatments… Your often life-saving Pap test ladies, is an abbreviation from Babeș-Papanicolau Test because our Romanian Victor Babeș discovered its effects as well, independently from the Greek doctor that made it famous… Henri Coandă, inventor and aerodynamics pioneer created world’s first jet and the Coandă effect of fluid dynamics ( whatever that might be!… Haha! )… The Romanian writer Mircea Eliade was the first and only madman to write a History of Religions from the beginnings up to date… We have Constantin Brâncuși, we have Eugene Ionesco and so many more…

We have our mountains…

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We have our sea…

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And everything inbetween… Every form of landscape known to man ( keeping a certain scale though! )

We have lakes and we have rivers…

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And one of the most beautiful and unique deltas on the planet – the Danube Delta

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But we also have some of the most hardworking and welcoming people on Earth… We laugh, we cry, we sing and dance like you will never see anywhere else… Our food is a work of art and our wine is the elixir of life…

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But above all, we have our traditions!

All Romanian traditions are beautiful – they’re mystical and strictly related to the fight between Good and Evil… The kind of stories to tell your children on one of those cold winter nights all cuddled in a cosy blanket with a hot drink in your hand, near the fire…

And since we’re celebrating Saint Andrew’s Day tomorrow, I would love to share some of our traditions with you! Saint Andrew’s is one of the oldest Romanian traditions! It was supposedly a pagan celebration which was assimilated by the Christian St. Andrew’s Day ( Saint Andrew is the saint that brought Christianism in our country ), but it’s still filled with all the pagan traditions we inherited from our Dacian ancestors.

So…

St. Andrew’s Day is also called “the day of the Wolf“. The wolf played an important part in our pagan history being a magical animal for our Dacian ancestors. It was so important and respected that it was present even on their battle flags which embodied a dragon with the head of a wolf. It is believed, even today in certain parts of the country, that on this very day ( November, the 30th ) the wolf becomes even more agile… It can even flex its otherwise stiff neck… We have a saying about that, that goes like that: “it will happen the day the wolf will see its tail”, about something that’s slightly possible to happen anytime soon. It’s the day when all the wolves gather in large packs for the upcoming Winter and start hunting…

On this day nobody should work and focus on protection their animals instead, which are supposed to be the most vulnerable on this day! Humans aren’t less vulnerable though and they shouldn’t do certain actions that could attract “evil”… To protect their animals and themselves our ancestors used to rub some garlic on all the ways in and out from their homes and the stables of their animals… Later they used Holy Water too!…

The night before Saint Andrew’s the Skies open and the animals start talking. But whoever listens to what they say shall die soon! It’s also the most powerful night for spells and magical incantations… That’s why young women have some rituals to find out who will be the man they’ll marry… It is said that if a girl wants to marry soon she should put 41 grains of wheat under her pillow, say some incantations and that same night she’d supposedly dream her future husband and she’d get married soon!

Your’s trully, the younger, modern and still unmarried at that time version, tried the trick as well… Aaand the man who appeared in my dream was… my uncle! “Your faith was weak!”, they said… Ha! Really!?…

This night is also called “the night of the undead” or “strigoi“. What’s strigoi? They are the spirits of the dead that didn’t managed or refused to pass after their funeral and they come back to hunt their living relatives bringing disease, suffering and sometimes even death. They travel on earth and water shouting and howling in barrels and on brooms…

Therefore you should remember that garlic is the magical weapon for protection!

On this night, we should sow wheat in a small recipient, place it by the window, take good care of it and if the wheat grows tall and healthy, the one who took care of it will have luck and good health the following year!

On this same night, our elders were able to make some empirical meteorologic predictions for the upcoming Winter season… They said that if the sky was clear, with a full moon the Winter was going to be warm and gentle. But if the sky would be dark or raining, the Winter will be rough with heavy snow, snow storms and very cold.

Another tradition says that weaving or spinning are forbidden until Christmas so that we won’t upset the Virgin Mary, who in our traditions appears like a beautiful young women who sits at a weaving machine/loop or with a skewer in her hands, spinning.

Here you have a couple of our traditions and superstitions you probably weren’t able to easily discover elsewhere… Sadly nowadays they are dismissed and classified as traditions and nobody really cares about them! But years and years ago they were the ways and the rules our grand-grand-grand-fathers lived by…

I wish I was born back then and lived those magical times as well!

I hope you liked my beautiful Romania and some of our strange but interesting ( I hope ) traditions!

See you soon, Beautiful! I’m off to celebrate my Country and the Andrews in my life!

Have an awesome weekend!

xx, Annie

 

 

All the pictures featured in this post are from Pinterest, so go and check my board My beautiful country, Romania for more amazing photos! Credits belong to their rightful owners! Some pictures are personal and they’re watermarked!

 

 

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