Romanian Christmas

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How to Celebrate a Romanian Christmas :

How to Celebrate a Romanian Christmas Music : Linu-i lin, by Stefan Hrusca Arrangement by :Ileana Godeanu

Romania is a country with several cultural influences, so Christmas traditions are quite diverse and cannot be generalized. The following steps represent a few examples of local traditions that may or may not be appropriate for your personal celebration of Christmas. :

Romania is a country with several cultural influences, so Christmas traditions are quite diverse and cannot be generalized. The following steps represent a few examples of local traditions that may or may not be appropriate for your personal celebration of Christmas.

Christmas carols are an important part of the holiday celebration in Romania. These songs are thought to give singers the power to connect with God as they reflect on Jesus' birth, and to gain the strength to overcome life's obstacles.:

Christmas carols are an important part of the holiday celebration in Romania. These songs are thought to give singers the power to connect with God as they reflect on Jesus' birth, and to gain the strength to overcome life's obstacles.

STEP 1: Kick off the winter holidays with St. Nicholas Day on December 6 :

STEP 1: Kick off the winter holidays with St. Nicholas Day on December 6

STEP 2: Arrange to go caroling in your village or town on Christmas Eve. Go from house to house until the wee hours of Christmas morning. :

STEP 2: Arrange to go caroling in your village or town on Christmas Eve. Go from house to house until the wee hours of Christmas morning.

STEP 3: Make a star (called a "steaua") out of shiny paper and wood, and attach it to a broomstick for the leader of your group to carry. Hang bells and ribbons on it, along with a picture of the Holy Family. :

STEP 3: Make a star (called a "steaua") out of shiny paper and wood, and attach it to a broomstick for the leader of your group to carry. Hang bells and ribbons on it, along with a picture of the Holy Family.

STEP 4: Expect to partake of nuts, apples, pretzels and cakes along with the other carolers. :

STEP 4: Expect to partake of nuts, apples, pretzels and cakes along with the other carolers.

STEP 5: Invite family and friends to come back to your home and tell stories about Jesus' birth in front of the Christmas tree. :

STEP 5: Invite family and friends to come back to your home and tell stories about Jesus' birth in front of the Christmas tree.

STEP 6: Remind your children to clean their boots or shoes and leave them out so Father Christmas can fill them with small presents. Some families also expect Father Christmas to bring the tree on Christmas Eve. :

STEP 6: Remind your children to clean their boots or shoes and leave them out so Father Christmas can fill them with small presents. Some families also expect Father Christmas to bring the tree on Christmas Eve.

STEP 7: Follow the tradition of "Ignatius" by cutting and roasting a pig to serve to family and friends. Burn straws in its snout and hold the pig's funeral feast.:

STEP 7: Follow the tradition of "Ignatius" by cutting and roasting a pig to serve to family and friends. Burn straws in its snout and hold the pig's funeral feast.

STEP 8: Invite neighbors and relatives for a festive holiday meal. :

STEP 8: Invite neighbors and relatives for a festive holiday meal.

STEP 9: Spend the evening of December 25 and 26 at the village hall, folk dancing and drinking mulled wine. :

STEP 9: Spend the evening of December 25 and 26 at the village hall, folk dancing and drinking mulled wine.

The Romanian traditional Christmas meals:

The Romanian traditional Christmas meals

First courses "Racituri" or "piftie," jellied headcheese, consisting of the pig's feet, ears and head in aspic, accompanied by a grated horseradish and beet salad marinated in vinegar, water and sugar. Fresh pork sausages, either grilled or fried, garnished with "muraturi" (cucumber pickles), as well as hot peppers and green tomato pickles. Various traditional charcuterie products are served: "toba," pork intestine stuffed with meat jelly, liver and rind; "caltabos," a kind of blood sausage; "babic" and "ghiudem," varieties of sausage, very dry and highly spiced, made from goat, mutton or beef. Beef salad - steamed or boiled vegetables: carrots, celery, potatoes, peas and pickled vegetables (cucumbers, tomato peppers and green tomatoes), all finely chopped and combined with olives and strips of cooked beef and bound with mayonnaise. :

First courses "Racituri" or "piftie," jellied headcheese, consisting of the pig's feet, ears and head in aspic, accompanied by a grated horseradish and beet salad marinated in vinegar, water and sugar. Fresh pork sausages, either grilled or fried, garnished with "muraturi" (cucumber pickles), as well as hot peppers and green tomato pickles. Various traditional charcuterie products are served: "toba," pork intestine stuffed with meat jelly, liver and rind; "caltabos," a kind of blood sausage; "babic" and "ghiudem," varieties of sausage, very dry and highly spiced, made from goat, mutton or beef. Beef salad - steamed or boiled vegetables: carrots, celery, potatoes, peas and pickled vegetables (cucumbers, tomato peppers and green tomatoes), all finely chopped and combined with olives and strips of cooked beef and bound with mayonnaise.

Main dishes "Ciorba de perisoare" - a slightly sour vegetable soup made with fermented bran and pork meatballs. "Sarmale" - Romanians' best-loved traditional dish - sour cabbage leaves stuffed with ground pork and served with polenta. Roast pork - garnished with pickled vegetables or mixed salads. :

Main dishes "Ciorba de perisoare" - a slightly sour vegetable soup made with fermented bran and pork meatballs. "Sarmale" - Romanians' best-loved traditional dish - sour cabbage leaves stuffed with ground pork and served with polenta. Roast pork - garnished with pickled vegetables or mixed salads.

Desserts The traditional Christmas dessert is called "cozonac." This rich fruit bread requires a long preparation time that begins early on the morning of Christmas Eve. Usually while the men are outdoors butchering the pig, the women stay in the kitchen to make the cozonac. Since it takes so long to make, cozonac is made in huge quantities. It has to feed the entire family throughout the week of Christmas. "For 5 kg of flour, 30 eggs are used and 3 kg of white sugar. Kneading the dough lasts at least two hours." The filling is made up of ground walnuts, egg yolks, raisins, vanilla, rum and no less than 2 kg of sugar! In well-to-do homes, cozonac replaces bread at every meal, served with both savory and sweet dishes. This may seem a very rich diet… but keep in mind that the holidays have been preceded by one to five weeks of fasting. What's more, the temperature in Romania at Christmas can easily dip to -15° C, so the extra calories are required! :

Desserts The traditional Christmas dessert is called "cozonac." This rich fruit bread requires a long preparation time that begins early on the morning of Christmas Eve. Usually while the men are outdoors butchering the pig, the women stay in the kitchen to make the cozonac. Since it takes so long to make, cozonac is made in huge quantities. It has to feed the entire family throughout the week of Christmas. "For 5 kg of flour, 30 eggs are used and 3 kg of white sugar. Kneading the dough lasts at least two hours." The filling is made up of ground walnuts, egg yolks, raisins, vanilla, rum and no less than 2 kg of sugar! In well-to-do homes, cozonac replaces bread at every meal, served with both savory and sweet dishes. This may seem a very rich diet… but keep in mind that the holidays have been preceded by one to five weeks of fasting. What's more, the temperature in Romania at Christmas can easily dip to -15° C, so the extra calories are required!

When it comes to sweets, cheesecake is the dessert traditionally associated with religious holidays in Romania. Every region has its own version. Here is one: Fresh Cheese Tart.:

When it comes to sweets, cheesecake is the dessert traditionally associated with religious holidays in Romania. Every region has its own version. Here is one: Fresh Cheese Tart .

In some regions "grau fiert" is served: sweetened boiled wheat garnished with nuts and various flavorings. Traditional beverages Tuica or palinca - very strong eau-de-vie, usually made from plums Wines - mostly reds, depending on the region and of course the wonderful Romanian wines depending on the region too :

In some regions "grau fiert" is served: sweetened boiled wheat garnished with nuts and various flavorings. Traditional beverages Tuica or palinca - very strong eau-de-vie, usually made from plums Wines - mostly reds, depending on the region and of course the wonderful Romanian wines depending on the region too

On New Year's Eve, boys will don costumes and recite "Plugusorul," which is a folk poem thought to protect the home and help crops grow well. :

On New Year's Eve, boys will don costumes and recite "Plugusorul," which is a folk poem thought to protect the home and help crops grow well.

STEP 10: Celebrate St. Vasile on January 1 by spreading grain around the house to bring good luck for the next 12 months. :

STEP 10: Celebrate St. Vasile on January 1 by spreading grain around the house to bring good luck for the next 12 months.

Craciun Fericit ! :

Craciun Fericit !

Merry Christmas from Romania !:

Merry Christmas from Romania !

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