Crăciun în România Christmas in Romania “Crăciun Fericit “ means “Merry Christmas”in Romanian How to Celebrate a Romanian Christmas Step One : Arrange to go caroling in your village or town on Christmas Eve. 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 Two: Go from house to house until the wee hours of Christmas morning. Expect to partake of nuts, apples, pretzels (“covrigi”) and cakes along with the other carolers. The Bear Dance – “Ursul” The bear dance can be seen on New Year's Eve only in Moldavia. A young man plays the bear role. He carries a bear skin on his head and shoulders. The skin is decorated with red tassels, mirrors, gold threads and brass nails. He's tied in chains and droved by a bear leader. A herald wearing old military uniform opens the show. Then the bear leader orders the bear to dance. The bear has a real suite of musicians. especially enjoy caroling with the “Goat”. The “Goat” is actually a usually boisterous young person dressed up in a goat costume. The whole group dances through the streets and from door to door, often with flute music. The goat jumps, jerks, turns round, and bends, clattering regularly the wooden jaws. The Goat – “Capra” Teenagers Step Three: The Christmas tree is decorated on Christmas Eve with walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, candies, apples and chocolates wrapped in colored paper. Step Four : Invite family and friends to come back to your home and tell stories about Jesus' birth in front of the Christmas tree. Step Five : Children clean and polish their best pair of boots and place them at the front door for Santa Claus to find. It's there that he'll leave presents for the youngest children who have already gone to bed. Step Six: On Christmas Day, invite neighbors and relatives for a festive holiday meal. Main Traditional Dishes : "Răcituri" 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. “Cârnaţi” - fresh pork sausages, either grilled or fried, garnished with "murături" (cucumber pickles), as well as hot peppers and green tomato pickles. "Sarmale" - sour cabbage leaves stuffed with ground pork and served with polenta. 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. Romania is a country with several cultural influences, so Christmas traditions are quite diverse and cannot be generalized.