- December 6, 2016
Romania is a country of many customs and traditions where Christmas is undoubtedly the most tradition-filled time of the year. Many of these Christmas traditions are very old and quite unique.. Others are newer and most likely borrowed from other European countries. Although some customs may differ from region to region, Christmas in Romania is celebrated in the same manner throughout the country. During the Communist era the religious meaning of Christmas was banished. “Christmas Time” became “Winter Celebrations,” and “Old Father Christmas” became “Old Man Frost.” Romanians however continued to secretly celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in their families and observe the old Christmas customs and traditions.
St. Nicholas (Mos Niculae)
The Christmas season in Romania is kicked off by the arrival of St.Nicholas (Mos Niculae) on December 6. This is one of the most awaited holidays of the year by children who receive small gifts in their boots from St. Nicholas on this day. But only if they are good! Otherwise, instead of presents they receive a stick. On the evening of December 5 every child must clean a pair of their shoes and leave it by the door, hoping that Old St. Nick will leave a present for them. The gifts are usually small and symbolic, like crayons, or watercolors, often just oranges or chocolate. But children enjoy them just the same. Continue Reading
- For most westerners Romania is this former Eastern Bloc country of Nadia Comaneci –the famous Romanian gymnast who scored the first perfect 10 in the Olympics. But few people know how beautiful this country…
- May 27, 2016
- A train ride in the little town of Vișeul de Sus in Maramures is quite an adventure. But then this is not just any train. Located in the northern…
- May 23, 2016
- May 20, 2016
The region of Maramureș in the northern part of Romania is perhaps the most traditional area of the country. Because of its natural boundaries –enclosed by mountain ranges with peaks reaching 2300 meters– Maramureș could keep its own specific character throughout history. For most visitors of Maramureș the greatest attraction are the old traditional wooden churches and monasteries in this area. The wooden churches of the region that still stand today were built between the 17th century all the way to 19th century. One of these beautiful churches in Maramureș is the Moisei Monastery , dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The monastery is set in an idilic place, on a sunny plateau above the village of Moisei, surrounded by Continue Reading
- As a tourist in Romania, you may easily feel at home and forget that you are in a foreign country. But the welcoming and friendly spirit of the Romanian people will…
- November 18, 2014
- Romania is a country with an old culinary tradition. From the villages of Transylvania to the capital city of Bucharest, almost anywhere you stop to eat you’ll find fresh, delicious foods. Romanians like to…
- November 13, 2014
Just a stone throw away from Bucharest, Romania‘s capital, Mogosoaia Palace, used to be my playground when I was a little girl. You see, there were not many places where you could spend a day outside the city if you didn’t have a car. Mogosoaia however was close enough to be reaches by bus. So in the hot summer days, when the asphalt was burning your feet in the big city, my mother used to take my sister and I to Mogosoaia to play. We’ve been ‘princesses’ in that palace for many summers. Greeted our subjects from its balcony. Danced in its banquet halls dressed in our imaginary lace gowns. Last summer when I revisited Mogosoaia after almost 40 years, the palace greeted me with the same charm.
- There is a small country in Eastern Europe that once used to be my home – Romania. While I lived there I didn’t care too much about its natural beauty or…
- October 21, 2014
- Pelisor Castle is part of a larger architectural complex consisting of three castles: Peles, Pelisor and Foisor, built by King Carol I of Romania. The King chose to build…
- October 18, 2014
Although a land of natural beauty, Romania wasn’t exactly the ideal tourist destination until after the fall of Communism in 1989. The country was struggling with poverty and the tourism industry was almost inexistent. The historic sites were badly neglected, the roads poorly maintained, food was scarce and lodging was primitive. So in spite of its great history and beautiful scenery, Romania remained in the often overlooked group of Eastern European countries.
Although things have improved considerably lately, Romania is still largely unknown to the western traveler. Such is the case of the beautiful Citadel of Alba Iulia (also known as Alba Carolina), one of the biggest fortresses in Eastern Europe.
Alba Iulia has an old and rich history that dates back to the Roman period. The initial settlement called Apulum was the oldest and largest castrum on Romania’s territory, built by the Romans in the 2nd century A.D. The Slavic name of the town was Bălgrad (“The White Fortress”), which was later Latinized into Alba Iulia. Continue Reading