Easter is a religious holiday that is observed in countries all across the world. Many countries have developed their own Easter customs, whether this is selling chocolate as we do here in the UK or more traditional celebrations like in countries such as Romania. In Romania, the Easter period is at the core of the culture of the religious beliefs of many of the locals making it a truly special occasion. In this article, we look to uncover some of the Easter traditions, celebrations and practises that Romania has cultivated throughout the years.
The Importance of Family
Romanian culture shines a light on the importance of family at Easter, and throughout the rest of the year. Throughout all of the activities and celebrations, family time and family values are at the core of Easter for Romanians. The event has a very social feel, with family members spending hours and travelling via plane, train or car to be reunited with their family over Easter. For many, it is a more important time than Christmas and thankfully hasn’t acquired much of the commercialised western approach to celebrating the holiday. We’d thoroughly encourage a visit to Romania during the Easter period as this will allow a true insight into Romanian life.
Lent is a time for abstaining from celebrations and luxuries with no parties, weddings or other activities. The occasion is observed with an unflinching persistence by many Romanians, a real credit to the importance of the holiday.
On Easter Sunday, Priests will emerge from their chapels and churches with a lit candle to announce that Christ has risen and that those who have abstained from alcohol, meat or dairy products can once again indulge themselves. This is done with the biggest meal of the year which typically centres on the meat of a lamb. Additionally, the head is used for soup and organs are used for a pate called drob.
It is worth noting that many Easter services begin shortly before midnight, however, if you would like a good view then you should arrive around 23:00. This is because many Romanians, whether they are faithful to the church or not, make the effort to attend the Easter mass and take part in the celebration of Easter.
Although Easter in Romania is a predominantly religious occasion, there are also other festivities and celebrations that happen. One of the main activities and traditions is the painting of boiled eggs. Typically taking place on Good Friday, many people will dye or paint a selection of boiled eggs and many will have intricate and fascinating patterns.
On Easter Sunday, the eggs will be cracked with family members with the words “Hristos a înviat”, meaning Christ has risen (also the words the priest uses when he emerges with the candle), a correct response to this statement would be “Adevărat a înviat” meaning that he has truly risen. Typically, each family member must crack at least one egg with every other member which can create something like organised chaos, but this only adds to the charm of the occasion.
It is also worth noting that Romania is home to the largest painted egg museum in the world, Muzeul Oului. The museum, although not as diverse as others in Romania, offers an egg-ceptional range of painted and dyed Easter eggs, roughly 7,000 to be precise. These have been created by hand and with a lot of finesse and attention to detail. In the museum, you’ll also have your own chance to create a work of art in the workshop section.
Why not spend some time in Romania over Easter by booking an experience trip? Discover the city of Bucharest and escape the busy streets after a few days by visiting a bear sanctuary in Romania, click here for more info.