The mythology of Romania is vast, varied and passionately adored by the country’s population. The stories often told in groups around campfires in the beginning, allowed the story-tellers and the audience to distance themselves from the real world of war, disease and natural disasters. Creativity seeps into every story told by the Romanians about their mythology and this gave birth to some truly remarkable myths. In this article, we’ll be exploring three of the myths that feature in the country’s huge catalogue of fictional stories and tales.
Jidovi – The Carpathian Giants
The stories of myths and legends of many countries talk of times long ago, before humans walked the earth when the world was ruled by giants. Although some people are more confident about this being true than others, one thing that is certain is that there are amazing, spell-binding stories about these bygone eras and Romania is no exception to this.
Described as one of the most beloved creatures from the folklore stories of Romania, Jidovi are talked about as being patient and kind beings that walk with huge strides through the hills. The people of Romania have done well to capture their presence and bring this through to modern day with their name being represented in various places such as the Jidovi Cave, the hill, or tombs of Jidovi. Additionally, there is Jidovina, a unique measurement that equates to several meters and represents the length of a giants step. Across Romania, you will encounter a myriad of places that look to encapsulate this story, with some people still staunchly believing in their existence.
The creatures were believed to live in caves and thick woods and respected the humans of the earth as they were seen as their successors and would soon be the next owners of the land, mountains and rivers. At the start of the 1900s, there were still a handful of people that claimed to have heard ‘real’ stories from their grandparents about the Jidovi who had seen them in person.
Zburatorul – The Lover From The Stars
Typically associated with being scary and Maleficent, mythical creatures of the night hold a reputation of not to be trifled with. However, there is one that stands alone called Zburatorul which means The One Who Flies; described as a handsome airman that torments the sleep of young girls and young wives, a true prince of the night.
Following Romanian mythology, the creature is characterised as the personification of the intense feelings of erotic desire and the longing for a man. The myth describes the man entering the house of the young woman as a shooting star and entering the bedroom in the shape of a truly handsome man. Their engagement takes place in a world of dreams that is so intense, it almost becomes a second reality, which leaves the woman exhausted and obsessively in love.
There are tales in old books of women who were consumed by the lust for this fictional being and would behave like lunatics by walking in the streets semi-dressed and barely conscious. Even in modern Romania, there are a handful of people in remote villages that recall the days of women being at the edge of losing their minds.
These beings are described as having the potential for both good and evil and are great sorcerers of storms and winds, masters of the lakes, mountains and caves. Illustrated as tall, red-haired men with bulging eyes and dressed in a white coat, a Solomonar always carries his magic book which is the source of his powers. Along with the book, he also carries a length of wood that is used for calling the winds and an iron axe for creating hail.
The mythological stories say that only baby boys born with a sign over its face and body can become a wizard of this type. Taken from his family by an elder Solomonar, the young boy is taken to the Solomonar School, located at the end of the earth and is trained for 20 years. After such training, the boy is left to create his own book of spells.
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