Tuesday, July 21, 2015

St.Ilie The Stormy Saint

July 20...a candle is sending holy light for my father's soul...it is St.Ilie, his name day, celebrated in the Orthodox traditions in Romania.
St. Elijah Fresco
Folk traditions associate this saint with the rain, he is patron of the clouds, lightning and thunder, he travels in a chariot with winged horses.

Traditions continue after the passing of our loved ones, they keep them with us during our journey among the living.

Icon of St. Elijah on Glass

I remember hot summer July days in Moldova, Bucovina roaming the region's hills for ancient painted monasteries and their feasts.

Now, in the villages, beekeepers harvest honey from their hives. Harvesting honey is made only by men clean in body and soul, dressed in holiday clothes, helped by a child, women are not allowed to enter the apiary. 
Country Beehives

Sweet Honey

Beehives Fresco

After harvesting the honey, the families, along with relatives and neighbors are invited to a festive meal, the guests taste and celebrate with new honey, and palinca, a plum spirit sweetened with honey. 

The women get the ovens hot to bake the savory pies and tarts.

Getting the oven ready

Transylvanian Traditional Foods

The meal is meant to ensure the abundance of beekeeper's hives, healthy bees and as every celebration it turns into a real party with song and dance.

Savory Pie

Fresh Romanian Cheese

Fresh Goat Milk and Savory Tarts

In my father's honor I painted my interpretation of St.Ilie, roaming the skies, snapping his whips as thunder and bringing rain clouds over the crops.

Memory Eternal Tati!

St.Ilie Painting on Gold Leaf