Saturday, April 19, 2014

Traditions...Easter in Romania

Easter Procession Bucovina

Romania, a country that celebrates life through food and wine, has quite the repertoire of Easter traditions and fare.
Romania Nuns
Good Saturday for the Orthodox Christians is a day of prayer, meditation and introspection reflecting the time that Christ’s body was in the tomb in silence and darkness and preparation for the midnight Sunday Paschal Liturgy, the new beginning, resurrection and the eternal life.

Icon of the Resurrection

An icon of the Resurrection depicts the belief that while in the tomb Christ went into the depths of hell and brought up to the light of heaven Adam and Eve as well as Old Testament fathers.

Moldova Easter Eggs

Legends and traditions transcend time and vary in each main territories of Romania. One of the oldest is the painting and sacred symbolism of Easter Eggs.

Hand Painted Easter Eggs

The egg, symbol of creation, renewal, purity and eternal life is painted red in most areas.

The belief is that when the Mother of God came to the cross to mourn her crucified son, she laid her basket of fresh eggs at the base of the cross to pray, the eggs turned red from the blood of Christ that was dripping from His wounds.

Decorations on the Easter eggs vary by region and folk traditions mostly ancient geometrical symbols and rich colors.

In Moldova, monasteries create glorious designs such as Sucevita and Moldovita Monasteries as well as the Neamt region including beaded eggs.

In Transylvania, Sibiu and its environs hollowed painted eggs are hung in trees in the front yards.

With celebration of Easter, Romanians celebrate food and wine as well.

Lemon Basted Lamb Chops

Pascha with Cheese

Lamb in Wine Sauce and Rosemary 

Pascha with Cheese and Raisins

Drob Pie

What is also indicative of the rebirth is the tradition after church of the families gathering with their loved ones for Paschal feasts that include Spring lamb, eggs, sour soups, green garlic, traditional pastries and wine from the regional vineyards.

Midnight hour is approaching, preparing for the Nocturne Procession....Victory of Life...Resurrection!

Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!