April 11, 2015

Mysterious Romania (X) Easter Traditions


Easter is one of the most important celebrations of Christianity, commemorating the moment when Jesus came back from the dead. We, as Orthodox, celebrate it, this year, on 12th April.
In my country, the symbol of this celebration is the  red Easter egg. Eggs, in general, are a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth.

 Starting with Holy Thursday, people start painting eggs in a multitude of colors. The predominant color is red, but other colors are also applied - yellow, green and blue. Decorated eggs or 'oua incondeiate' are an integral part of Easter celebration in Romania. The eggs are decorated using a type of thin and round sticks  made of beech wood. 
Here are other customs and traditions linked to Easter in Romanian lore.


The first knocked egg on Easter day should be shared by all the members of the family. It will keep them united forever.


 If the first egg you eat on Easter has two yolks, then prepare for wedding. You’ll get married soon.
On Easter Morning everyone in the family  washes their face with the water in which a red-painted egg and a silver coin were sunk. The red egg symbolizes health and the silver purity.
Red eggs are knocked head to head on the first day and  bottom to bottom starting with the next Easter day.
The person whose egg doesn’t crack at knocking on Easter will die before the other one.


Traditional Easter food is based on lamb, Christ’s symbol. It includes  a sour  lamb soup called “ciorba”, roasted lamb stake, a meat pie made of lamb liver - haggis (drob), and lots of painted eggs. 

The candle, an important symbol of the Resurrection, represents the victory of life  against death, of good against evil. It must be brought home, while burning, after the religious service. It is not thrown away but put away in a safe place. It can be lit again, in front of an icon, on difficult moments- illness, great trouble and danger.


The most entertaining Easter tradition is the “egg battle”, an egg championship in which all friends and family participate. Each round of the game consists of knocking two hard-boiled eggs – the egg with the toughest shell wins and the loser has to eat all the boiled eggs the winner breaks.

Allow me to end the post with the traditional greeting Romanians use for forty days starting with Easter Day,      “Hristos a inviat (Christ has risen).”
 

15 comments:

  1. Red Eggs, so different from the colors we associate with the Easter Holiday. Here Easter is on the Sunday following the full moon after the Spring Equinox and can be in March or April. Shared everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a legend regarding the red color of eggs, but as I already posted it last year I didn't want to repeat it.
      I never understood why Christians can't have the same date for Easter celebration as they do for Christmas.
      Thank you for dropping by and sharing!

      Delete
  2. Hi Carmen. We have the same traditions in Greece. We have Easter (Pascha in Greek) at the same date and red eggs too, but I'm not sure if the loser has to eat all the boiled eggs. We don't do that. Happy Easter to you and your family. Elina..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you are Orthodox, too, it is naturally the same tradition. Thank you for visiting and for the wishes! The same wishes to you and family, Elina!

      Delete
  3. Carmen, thank you for sharing Romanian Easter traditions with the rest of the world. So interesting. I don't think I've ever seen a red egg.

    Happy Easter to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are alike and yet so much different in some aspects, don't you think so?
      Thank you for leaving a comment, Linda. A peaceful spring to you!

      Delete
  4. A very happy Easter to you and your family, Carmen. What a delight it is to read of the traditions in Romania. I am familiar with decorated eggs but not full dyed ones. Fascinating. Have a lovely celebration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Daisy! And the weather today was lovely, real spring to summer. We enjoyed it as there's news of cold rainy weather coming back in two days.
      Yes, I myself dyed eggs on Thursday. Mostly red and a few green and yellow.

      Delete
  5. So beautiful, Carmen.Thank you for sharing the history of the eggs. Happy Easter to you and your family. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary!
      Hope yours was lovely and wonderful.

      Delete
  6. What a great post! Such interesting traditions! Over here, everything's pretty much just chocolate... lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Jessica!
      Chocolate eggs and rabbits are to be found here, too, but, dyed eggs are a must on everyone's festive table.

      Delete
  7. Oh, Carmen, what a lovely and fascinating post. I so much enjoyed hearing about your Romanian Easter traditions. I especially like the one where the whole family shares the first knocked egg to symbolize being strong together. How interesting to learn that red eggs are so prominent in your culture. My 5 year old Snickerdoodle brought me an egg he had obtained from a school egg hunt, and it was red! I think that is good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Easter and Christmas are, mostly, a family celebration. At first there were only red eggs. Later, women started to paint them in other colors, too, or even to draw various patterns on them.
      Oh, absolutely, your red egg is a symbol of good luck for you, dear Flossie. Thank you for checking my post!

      Delete
  8. Oh, Carmen, what a lovely and fascinating post. I so much enjoyed hearing about your Romanian Easter traditions. I especially like the one where the whole family shares the first knocked egg to symbolize being strong together. How interesting to learn that red eggs are so prominent in your culture. My 5 year old Snickerdoodle brought me an egg he had obtained from a school egg hunt, and it was red! I think that is good luck.

    ReplyDelete