Christmas in Romania : Craciun in Romania

Romania is a country located at the intersection of Central and Southeastern Europe, bordering on the Black Sea. Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south.

The Capital and largest city of this country is Bucharest.

Christmas in Romania

Christmas Celebrations in Romania : 

Christmas is popularly known as ‘Craciun’ in Romania. The festival was once observed in the country with much fanfare. It is generally considered one of the most important religious holiday. A very important Christmas custom practiced in Romanian villages is ‘Ignatius’, the sacrifice of a pig in every house in the honor of Saint Ignatius. All the extended members of the family, friends and neighbors are invited to the feast and the meat is then shared with them, along with bacon and plum brandy. This feast is known as the pig’s funeral feast. The ‘Ignatius’ ceremony is looked down as a barbaric custom in countries like U.S., but Romanians insist that it is performed to ensure that the soul of the pig receives ample gratitude for the nourishment that it provides to all in the family.

Christmas in Romania

The decoration of the Christmas tree is on “Ajunul Craciunului” (Christmas Eve). Fir trees happen to be the main Christmas trees here. Gift exchanges take place in Romania in the evening of Christmas Eve, contrary to the American way of opening gifts on Christmas morning. Romanian children believe that ‘Mos Craciun’ (the Romanian equivalent of Santa Claus) is the one who delivers them their presents. Unlike in the U.S., the Romanian children do not leave milk and cookies out for ‘Mos Craciun’.

The singing of carols is a very important part of Romanian Christmas festivities. Throughout the Christmas season, little Romanian children (especially those in the villages) visit every house in the locality singing carols such as Steaua (‘The Star’), Trei Pastori (‘The Three Shepherds’) and Mos Craciun (‘Santa Claus’) and reciting poems and legends tied to the festival.

In Romanian familes, all the women cook for three days leading up to ‘Craciun’. Traditional Romanian Christmas foods include Roast Gammon and Pork Chops (made from the killed pig!), ‘Ciorba de perisoare’ which is a slightly sour vegetable soup made with fermented bran and pork meatballs; ‘Sarmale’ cabbage leaves stuffed with ground pork and served with polenta; ‘Cozonac’ a rich fruit bread; Romanian doughnuts called ‘gogosi’ and cheesecakes.

Another Christmas Eve tradition is a drumming band or ‘dubasi’.

In Romanian, Merry Christmas is ‘Crặciun Fericit’. Santa Claus is known as ‘Moş Crăciun’ (Old Man Christmas), ‘Moş Nicolae’ (Old Man Nicholas) & ‘Moş Gerilă’ (Old Man Frost).

Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!