Christmas in Romania
3 Feb 2015 | From Edi of Romania
'Craciun fericit ?i un An Nou Fericit!'
Christmas is popularly known as 'Craciun' in Romania. The observance of Christmas was introduced once with the Christianization of Romania but it was then interrupted during the Communist period (1948—1989), as concepts as religion, Jesus Christ or the Church were banned. In the post-communist Romania, Christmas started being celebrated again more festively.
Christmas and mid-winter celebrations last from 20th December to 7th January. The 20th is when people celebrate St. Ignatius's Day. A very important Christmas custom practiced in Romanian villages is 'Ignatius', the sacrifice of a pig in every house in the honor of Saint Ignatius. It is traditional that if the family keep pigs, one is killed on this day. The meat from the pig is used in the Christmas meals.
The Christmas celebrations really begin on Christmas Eve, 24th, when it's time to decorate the Christmas Tree. This is done in the evening of Christmas Eve. In Romanian, Christmas Eve is called 'Ajunul Craciunului'. Fir trees happen to be the main Christmas trees here. Gift exchanges take place in Romania in the evening of Christmas Eve, same here in our country and contrary to the American way of opening gifts on Christmas morning.
In Romanian familes, all the women cook for three days leading up to 'Craciun'. Christmas dinner in Romania is a rich, multi-course meal. On the top of the menu comes various kinds of pork sausages, along with plum brandy and home made pickles. All the members of the extended family enjoy the feast together.