Post Tagged with "carmen"

Boboteaza (Epiphany in Romania)

 Most of Christians in Romania celebrated yesterday Boboteaza – the day when Jesus Christ was baptized in the Jordan River by John The Baptist.

Together with Saint John Day on the 7th of January, it symbolizes the end of the winter Christmas holidays.

During a special religious service called “Great Holy Water” the waters are blessed. These waters (called Agheazma) are said to maintain their freshness all year long and to have miraculous powers . People attend in great number the religious service and queue when it ends, to fill their bottles with the Agheazma .

Photos taken yesterday morning at Kretulescu Church in the Center of Bucharest

Taking a sip of holy water every morning, before eating, it is said to act like a talisman, protecting you from troubles, bringing peace of mind and soul.

Popular traditions also say that young people who are not married and put a twig of blessed basil, given by their priest, under their pillow, the night before Boboteaza, dream of their future spouse.

Find out more about Boboteaza traditions on Romania Simply Surprising.

Does your country celebrate Epiphany? Tell us about it in the comments.

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The coldest hotel in the world? – Ice hotel Balea lake

January 7, 2010 1 comment

Ice Hotel Balea Lake

Have you ever thought you could spend your holiday in an Ice Hotel, sleep on an ice bed, drink your cocktail in an ice bar, have a party in an ice restaurant and even marry in an ice church?

If not, this is the time! I invite you to try Ice Hotel in the nearby of Balea Lake.

Balea Lake (a glacier lake) is situated in Fagaras mountains (Sibiu county), the highest in Romania, at 2034 m altitude. The landscape is spectacular, especially in the winter, when there’s a lot of snow there and the ice on the lake is near 1 m high.

The first Ice Hotel Balea Lake was built in 2006, being at that time the first one in the South-Eastern Europe. A group of enthusiastic people leaded by Arnold Klingeis, the author of the project, who want to increase the touristic potential of the region, re-build every winter a new and more complex version of the Ice Hotel.

See the hotel in construction! (commentary in Romanian)

A great idea turned into a touristic marketing project; it includes also events on the most important holidays as Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Women Day and others (as long as ice doesn’t melt!). For 2009 the theme of the project is Ice Hotel Cold Classic.

On Ice Hotel Website you can find a lot of information about the hotel, a photo gallery and you can even make your reservation.

Balea is also the name of a well-known ski resort and a beautiful and warm chalet, where you can reach by car (on the Transfagarasan road, only during summer) or by cable car.

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January 4, 2010 5 comments

Regained Christmas – Christmas in Romania

20 years ago, after the fall of communism, Romanians earned their right to celebrate Christmas again.

Before 1989, Christmas was a forbidden word; but, in spite of these restrictions, most of us preserved traditions in our own homes.

In the Romanian villages tradition says that you must clean your house thoroughly, days before Christmas.

There is also a very important custom (called “Ignat”, in the honour of Saint Ignatius), to sacrifice a pig on the 20th of December, when the snow snow have already fallen and is cold enough.

Then, during 2 or 3 days before Christmas women prepare various delicious pork sausages, bacon and other mouth-watering meals like “sarmale“, made of pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of pork and beef, rice, pepper and other spices. And also roasted pork and as a desert, “cozonac“, a cake filled with nuts and raisins.

Another beautiful custom is “Colind” (Romanian word for carol) – a group of people, usually dressed in folk costumes, who go from house to house singing Christmas carols, till morning. They are received in every house with great joy, because, according to tradition, they bring fortune and happiness . They receive knot-shaped bread and cakes, apples, nuts and money.

On Christmas Eve, the fir tree is brought into the house and decorated by the family members. Children believe that “Mos Craciun” (Romanian for Santa Claus) is the one who brings them presents, so they sometimes write letters to him to ask for their favourite ones: sweets, chocolates, toys, games, books and many more. But not only children receive presents from Santa; the adults in the family find theirs under the fir tree too, on the Christmas Eve.

Romanian Christmas tree

First Day of Christmas is usually spent with all the family around the table, after attending the Christmas church service; the other two days are reserved for friends or neighbours.

For most of us, urban people, a lot of Christmas magic has lost.
We have Christmas lights in the streets, Christmas fairs with tons of Christmas presents to buy, a lot of Christmas events and concerts to attend and an abundance of meals on our tables.

But we can’t find the Christmas peace and harmony any more.

Come again tomorrow to find out more about Christmas in Catalunya.

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December 21, 2009 9 comments

Looking for genuine Romanian food?

Lately, Bio (organic) and Homemade Bucharest fairs are actually ”invaded” by urban people in search of genuine food.

Why? Yummy – it’s easy to understand just looking at these photos!

Homemade cheese, sausages, bread, rachie (a Romanian traditional alcoholic drink) and many more at Indagrafarm Fair in Romexpo Exhibition Centre Bucharest.

homemade Romanian foods

Ginger bread from Transylvania – made with vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, cocoa and honey – at Romanian Peasant Fair.

Transylvanian gingerbread

Delicious honey – with various flavours

flavoured honey

plum marmaladeTraditional Romanian product made by an old, unchanged recipe, in a little town factory : Magiun de Prune Topoloveni (Topoloveni Plum Marmalade).

It is produced from the best quality fruits and it contains no sugar, additives and artificial flavours.

Plum Marmalade is highly recomanded to people who are not allowed to eat sugar. Or you can use it to prepare delicious cakes

Last, a traditional Romanian cake called Cozonac. We prepare it for Christmas, Easter and other special occasions. It’s very tasty and flavoured.

And this is only the beginning !

Find more interesting information about Romanian Food and recipes on Romanian Monasteries.org.

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November 20, 2009 4 comments

Sapanta – “The Merry Cemetery”

This is the first post from Carmen, who is writing from Romania.

Carmen has been working for a Bucharest Radiostation for the last 13 years. She loves music (especially U2); loves English and has a passion for Ireland. Besides Romanian and English she understands French and a little Italian. Carmen has a real passion for foreign cultures and people and I’m sure she will be very pleased to hear from you if you want to say hello or ask questions about Romania.

Also find Carmen on her blog Bucharest Daily Colours.

A legend says that the Dacians (Romanians’ ancestors), considered death just a passing to a better life and celebrated it instead of mourning.

In Maramures (a region in Romania never conquered by the Roman legions) the merry attitude towards death has been preserved.

And what better example than “The Merry Cemetery of Sapanta”. A place where death is welcomed with a smile.

Back in the 1930’s, Stan Ioan Patras, a folk wood artist, painter and poet, made the first merry cross in the world. And then, during more than 50 years, he had created hundreds of them.

All having in the background the famous “Sapanta Blue” and using also other vibrant vegetal colours, like yellow and green.

And all with the same characteristics.

In the upper part of the cross – a painted scene that describes best the dead person’s life & activity.

Then, an epitaph (a 10-17 rhymes amusing or satirical poem, addressed by the dead person to the ones who live). 

A famous epitaph: 

Underneath this heavy cross
Lies my mother-in-law poor
Had she lived three days more
I would be here and she would read
You that are passing by
Try not to wake her up
For if she comes back home
She’ll bite my head off
But I will act in the way
That she will not return
Stay here my dear
Mother-in-law.

(Images and poem with permission from: Romanian Monasteries.org)

Find out how to get there with this post from Captivating Romania.

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September 25, 2009 Comments disabled