Friday, October 28, 2016

Romanian Gastronomic Voyage: October 27…We Celebrate St. Dimitrie Basarabov….Pr...

Romanian Gastronomic Voyage: October 27…We Celebrate St. Dimitrie Basarabov….Pr...: St. Dimitrie Basarabov Born in the XIII Century in the village of Basarab, south of the Danube’s Romanian territory, of a poor family w...

October 27…We Celebrate St. Dimitrie Basarabov….Protector of Bucharest

St. Dimitrie Basarabov
Born in the XIII Century in the village of Basarab, south of the Danube’s Romanian territory, of a poor family who could not give him a formal education, was forced to earn himself for his basic needs at a very young age.

For years, he took the cattle and sheep of the farmers from the village grazing on the hills near the Danube river and the green valleys of the Lom. Life in the woods as a young shepherd offered the young boy the opportunity to admire the beauty of nature always visible, helping him to love the Creator of the world and the unseen beauty as well.
Lom RiverOn Sundays and holidays took part along with his parents and other believers to prayers in the village church.
Fasting and praying constantly, as befits a true Christian, he also cared for the poor, shared the food he received from his fellow villagers to guard cattle and in time decided he would join a group of brothers in a monastery to dedicate his life to The Lord.
Basarabov Monastery Bulgaria

He spent the rest of his life in a cave, praying and helping the sick.
It is said that when his time came, he went down to the shore of the Lom river and laid his body between two boulders placing his soul in the arms of God, surrounded by angels before going to heaven.

Many years passed by, the folk tradition is that one night he appeared in the dream of a very ill young girl, telling her where his body was and that if her parents would get him out of the water, she would be healed.
Fresco by Cezar Ivana of St.Dimitrie

They and other Christian believers did, placed him in the village church and the girl was saved.

The news of his venerable relics finding was soon spread in the townships south of the Danube, and in the north.
Many believers  were heading towards Basarab village to worship the precious relics and ask the great saint for blessings.

For five centuries, his relics remained in the area until the war of 1768-1774 between Russians and Ottomans on parts of the Romanian territory.
Icon Detail with a Relic of St.Dimitrie
The Russian General Petru Saltacov, in fear that the muslims would desecrate the relics of St.Dimitrie, ordered for them to be taken to Russia, via Bucharest.
Pilgrimage to the Relics of St. Dimitrie
There he was asked to leave them for the Romanian people on July, 1774 at the Metropolitan Cathedral and so, St. Dimitrie Basarabov became the protector of Bucharest, of Romania and healer of many.

His right hand did make it to Russia, believed to still be in Kiev.

Relics of St.Dimitrie Basarabov
On October 27, Romanian Christians celebrate his life and miracles with feasts and helping the poor.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Traditions That Remain Vibrant….Protection Of The Mother Of God

Govora Monastery Fresco
On October 1sttriumphantly and joyfully Romanians and other Orthodox Christians
celebrate the Protection of the Most Holy Virgin.
The historical basis for the feast is the protection of the Christians during siege and invasion of the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, over 1000 years ago.
Byzantine Art Studio Mosaic
It was during an All-Night Vigil in the Blachernae church, overflowing with those at prayer, that Virgin Mary after praying for a long time took off her veil and spread it over the people praying in church, protecting them from enemies that were attacking the city.
Sacred images of this event emerged as magnificent icons, monasteries were built and the miracle celebrated.
Monastery Sucevita Fresco
Some of the holy places that share the name are Calugara near Caransebes region, Monastery Secries, near Moldovita and Govora near Mihăieşti in Vâlcea region of Oltenia.
Map of Romania
Calugara Monastery

Govora Monastery was founded in the XIV century, during Vlad Dracul’s  rule, construction added during Vlad Tepes, and  so on through the ages.

Govora Monastery

Govora Monastery Interior 

Govora Monastery Nuns

Oltenia Peasant Home
While in Oltenia, one must partake in the culinary delights of the region, dishes that warm the heart paired wines that warm the spirit.

Ciorba de Loboda
Loboda is a wild or garden leaf plant Atripex Hortensis, also known as French Spinach.
Crama Bolovanul

Crama Oprisor Wines

Carl Reh Winery SRL

Ferma viticola:
Comuna Oprisor, 227335
Mehedinti, Romania
Telefon: 0040 252 391310

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Traditions That Remain Vibrant....Pentecost Romanian Rusalii

Pentecost Icon
Each year Romanian Orthodox Christians celebrate Pentecost Sunday or Rusalii as it is called in the folk tradition, when The Holy Spirit descends upon Christ’s Apostles.
Pentecost Orthodox Icon
It lasts for two days and it is always celebrated 50 days after Easter.
Linden Flowers
On the day of Pentecost, Christians come to church and bring linden flowers or walnut leaves, symbols of the tongues of fire that mark the descent of the Holy Spirit.
Blessing of Linden Flowers and Walnut Leaves
These leaves are blessed and distributed to the believers.
Linden Branches Protecting the Home
Tradition says that these blessed branches of walnut and linden flowers should decorate the windows of the house and icons since they have protective powers against the capricious Fairies or Rusalii.
Rusalii Pagan Fairies

Another ancient folk tradition in villages at Pentecost is a specific folk dance performed by men "Căluşari".
Dance of Calusari

Village Calusari 

Boys Calusari

Farm animals are included in celebrations with adornments of summer flowers for good fortune.
Farm Ox adorned with Summer Flowers
Feasts of cherries, wine, pastries and coliva a traditional Romanian wheat porridge are offered to friends and family.
Rusalii Feast

Celebration of Summer Rusalii

Monday, May 2, 2016

Traditions That Remain Vibrant...Easter Eggs

Romanian Easter Eggs

Easter celebrations in the Romanian tradition is marked by sprucing up of the houses and farms, the special services in the Orthodox Churches but also a wide range of traditional Romanian rituals.

Hand Painted Bucovina Eggs

On the Romanian table an abundance of red eggs, sweet cakes and roast lamb are always present.
Roast Leg Of Lamb
The custom of coloring eggs is fortunately still practiced, especially by the Romanians in various styles and colors according to the traditions of each region or village.

Egg Painting Tradition

Maramures Red Easter Eggs
In Maramures area, Lapus region in the morning, the first day of Easter, children (up to age 9) go to friends and neighbors to announce the Resurrection.

Easter Feast

The host gives each child a red egg. 
Upon leaving, the children thank the folks for the gift and wish them blessed Easter celebration.
Tradition Of Knocking Eggs
An ancient ritual is that the threshold must be passed first by a boy so 
the household will be
blessed with harmony the rest of the year.

Bucovina Boy
On the morning of first day of Easter, children wash their faces with fresh well water in which is placed a red egg and green blades of grass.

Traditional Egg Painting

                         Hristos A Inviat!    Christ Is Risen!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Palm Sunday A Romanian Celebration

Palm Sunday Orthodox Romanian Church

Romanian Orthodox Christians celebrate today The Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday.

Entry Into Jerusalem Icon

They attend the liturgy in their various holy spaces, churches and monasteries with willow branches symbols of the palm leaves that greeted The Saviour, reminders of renewal, rebirth.

Blessed Willow Basket
As they return home, they adorn their holy icons, doors and windows with them in the ancient belief that these branches help healing diseases, bring abundance in the household and are kept throughout the year, until the next Palm Sunday celebration.

On Palm Sunday eating fish is allowed, which is the second absolution of Lent, after the Annunciation. This is permitted because it is said that Jesus asked to eat fish.

Roasted Fish On Root Vegetables

Mussels With Garlic And Tomatoes

La Mama Ateneu Bucharest 
Voila French Restaurant Menu for Palm Sunday

Traditions continue to be honored on a holy day in the Romanian hills, mountains and valleys, villages, cities and remote corners of the land.

A very unique tradition is to celebrate the friends and family members whose names are of flowers, male and female..Florica, Florin, Florina, Viorica, Viorel, Florea, Florian, Crin, Camelia, Anemona and many more.