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…
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
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 cook and good food has always been a part of their culture. Traditional Romanian dishes are neither elegant nor fancy, but they are very tasty.
Throughout the centuries, Romanian cuisine has been influenced and enriched by many different cultures, such as the Saxons and Magyars who settled in Transylvania, the Greeks with whom Romanians traded, or the Ottomans who dominated the country for centuries. But despite these influences, Romanian cooking has kept unaltered the taste of its traditional dishes, through recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Here is a guide to some of the traditional Romanian dishes that I grew up with and also cooked for my family over the years: Continue Reading
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 his summer residence, Peles Castle, in the beautiful setting of the Carpathian mountains, near the town of Sinaia. He also ordered the construction of Pelisor Castle next to Peles, for his nephew (and future king) Ferdinand of Hohenzollern and his wife, Maria. The construction started in 1899 and lasted for three years, during which time Ferdinand and Maria lived in the Foisor Castle.
A tour of the Pelisor will give you a glimpse into the royal family life. Queen Maria decorated it herself in a very original and unique style, combining Byzantine and Brancovenesc features. She has always been extremely attached to Pelisor, where
she even died in 1927 after trying to stop a duel between her sons.
The palace complex belonged to the Romanian royal family until 1948 when it was confiscated by the communists. After the collapse of communism in 1989, it has been returned to them. In 2006 former King Michael I of Romania took legal Continue Reading