Wednesday, December 25, 2013

We Leave, God Enters

Christmas holidays are awaited with much joy throughout Romania. Each region has its own centuries old traditions that are passed on from generation to generation.

                                                        Voyages of Discovery

Christmas Eve, after midnight, groups of children go from house to house caroling. They carry bags for the treats they will be receiving, colaci, sweet dough twisted in various traditional shapes, plums, apples and walnuts. 

Decorated sticks and bats are used in homes to perform “folk magic”. In parts of Bucovina they stir the coals of stove fires so the mother hens will be blessed with many chicks and the cows with healthy calves.

They sing, bless the home and move on to the next after they receive their bounty on the way out they shout “We leave, God Enters”.

Village priests and deacons take the icon of The Nativity to each home, sing prayers about the Birth of Our Lord, bless the home, the stables and partake in steaming pottery cups of hot spiced wine or tuica, a Romanian plum brandy before leaving.

Smoke rises from the chimneys, air is crisp, blankets of snow are cuddling the hills and pastures. 

A star is shining high and bright guiding their footsteps…. Christ Is Born!