Orthodox Easter. Traditions and Superstitions about Easter in Romania

As Orthodox Easter  is approaching fast (this year is on May 5th ) I thought it would be nice to know some traditions of Romanian for Easter . The Ester celebration is very important celebrations as Romania is inhabited by a vast majority of Orthodox Christians. Around 86 %, out of 19 million people of Romanian population Christian Orthodox.

Easter (“Paste” in Romanian) is for the Romanians, along Christmas, the most important of the year celebration  and  families prepares long before the fasting held with such reverence. In the Orthodox Church people prepare for the Easter holidays with a prolonged  “Lent” for  48 days when Romanians do not any type of food containing meat  or food produced by animals ( milk and milk products, eggs, fish or fish eggs)  .

Officially, the Fasting  starts after “Forgiveness Sunday”, the  first Monday, 7 weeks prior to Easter Day.  Last week of Lent is called “Holy Week” and begins on Palm Sunday, day that commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.”Holy Week” commemorates the capture of Jesus, His crucifixion and death. In this last week before Easter, many churches hold every night religious services are named “denial”.

Even if during the Easter day, Romanians usually eat boiled eggs with salt, the superstition is not to eat salt them with your hand as your palm will sweat all year long.  Also, during Easter day you are not recommended to sleep, as you will be sleepy all year.

Red eggs
Red eggs

Traditional Easter bread (Pasca) is made in the cleanest conditions. There are places on the country side where women in order to knead the dough, fist they wash and brush their hair, the dress clean clothes, they pray and  only after all these they go in the kitchen to bake.

In Calarasi, at the Resurrection (midnight – Starting the Easter Day), the church- goers bring a traditional Easter basket for blessing, red eggs, cozonac (traditional cake) and white roosters. Roosters are bred specifically for the fulfillment of this tradition. They preach midnight tradition of ancestors say that when roosters sing, Christ is Risen! The luckiest is the household whose first rooster crows. It is a sign that, in that year, his house will be plentiful. After the service, roosters are given to poor people.


Monk with a semantron calling the church-goers to the Orthodox service.
Monk with a semantron calling the church-goers to the Orthodox service.

A beautiful tradition is preserved in Maramures, in the Lapus region. In the morning the first day of Easter, children (up to age 9) go to friends and neighbors to announce Resurrection. The host gives each a red egg. The superstition says that it better that the first guest passing the doorstep should be a boy, in order not to have arguments in the house during the year.

In Banat, at breakfast the first day of Easter tradition practiced incense dishes. Then each person there gets a teaspoon of “Easter “(holy wine + bread). On the dish include boiled eggs and traditional foods, as they continue to roast lamb.

In Tara Motilor at midnight the semantron is taken from the church, it is hidden in the cemetery. There are two groups of young lads: ones who guard the semantron, others who are to steel it. If the guardians are vigilant and the other cannot steel it, they receive a feast from “thieves” . If the “thives” are better, they guardians are the ones to set the feast as punishment. REgarless the group that the youngsters were in, everybody is invited.


In Moldova, the first thing in The Easter  they place a  red and a white eggs in a bowl of water that must contain coins, children must face and rinse with water and eggs reach their cheeks to take a full year of wealth.







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