(North- East of Romania)
coordinating by Julia Giurgi
The most important moments in
humans lives are considered great
Many of these rituals are still kept by
important moments in life:
The customs related to the
cycle of life like
funeral are the most important
by their uniqueness.
The birth
 At birth there are many interdictions and
  rituals that are to be held and the essential
  moments are related to the purifying act
  and recognition in the new state.
 From the folkloric point of view the
  godparent ship has a special importance.
The birth
   The birth of a child, followed by the baptism
    and the celebration party is very important in
    the young family’s life.

   From the birth to the baptism, numerous
    magical practices are executed by the
The birth
 These practices aim to clear off the evil and
  to create the right environment for the new
  born baby.
 The midwife ties a red yarn at his hand to
  protect him from the evil eye.
 Also, the midwife carries the new born to the
  church for the baptism saying: “I carry off a
  pagan and I will bring a christian”
 The godfathers must pay the midwife a silver
    The first bath
   In the water of the first bath, the midwife must put:
   Basil
   Corn
   Dill
   Mint
   Poppy
   Feathers
   Holly water
   Silver coins
The parkas
  The belief that the parkas hold our destiny in their
   hands is very common in Romanian traditions
 The 3 parkas come in the odd nights (3, 5 and 7) in
   the first week of the baby’s life to destine his fate
 In our region, the midwife puts a light in the baby’s
   room when it gets dark outside.
 The parkas must find the light
to be satisfied, so they will
predestine a good life to the child
The sick babies
 When a child has health problems in his
  first weeks of life, there are some measures
  to be taken in order to save him, a ritual
  that repeats the birth:
 The baby is passed through the chemise
  that the mother wore at his birth;
 The baby is sold over the window.
The wedding
   The wedding is by far the most interesting
    family custom of all that is very complex
    in its traditional forms combining
    economic, law, ritual and folkloric
    elements. The popular "show" is almost
    fabulous. The acts from the marriage
    foundation are ritual and ceremonial meant
    to bring prosperity, fecundity, happiness
    and social integration to the young family.
The wedding
 In this moment the popular costume gains some
specific significances. The act of the ceremony is
composed from many customs:
 the well - wishing at the bride's gate,
 the dowry dance in the bride's yard
 the parents forgiveness,
 the wedding at the groom's house,
 the gifts
 the bride's adorning.
The wedding
The musical repertoire is suitable:
 "the dowry dance",
 "the big dance",
 "three times around the table",
 "the bride's grief song",
 "the bride's ring dance",
 "the big ring dance".
 The wedding
 Some rural communities still appeal to
  suitors to unite the families.
 At the meeting between the two families, the
  match-making, they decide the future best
  man and the sponsor, the cook, the maids of
  honor and the music.
 They also decide the wedding’s date
 The suitor uses a special poem, an allegory
  about a young hunter following a dear
    The wedding
 The groom’s family goes
door to door with bottles
of wine to invite everyone
at the wedding.

   Everybody must guest the groom’s family,
    because the refusal is equivalent to the refusal
    to participate at the wedding
The wedding

   Three weeks before, the priest announces the
    wedding at the end of the mass, to discover
    the possible obstacles in the finalization of
    the wedding
The wedding
 In the wedding day, the maids of
honor come at the bride’s house to
brush the bride’s hair in one braid,
made from odd locks
 Then the maids finish the hairdo by putting on a
  coronet made from multicolored flowers and the
  white veil
 While the bride is adorned, she must cry, even if she
  likes the groom
 The groom is shaved by a barber or by the best man.
  In the time being, the assistants make jokes and
The wedding
   The groom’s family is heading to the brides
   Here some ancient rituals take place
   When they arrive, they find the gates closed and
    tied in chains
   The young men from them groom’s group
    simulate a fight with those from the bride’s
   The simulated opposition is finished with the
    reconciliation of the two groups by the mediation
    of an amount of liquor.
    The wedding
 the forgiveness is the next moment. The bride
  and the groom sit facing the east in their
  knees on a pillow.
 The bride sits on a
pillow for her life to
be easy and agreeable.
The wedding
 In church, the bride’s mother puts a carpet
  and two cushions in front of the spouses.
 the best man stands on the right of the
  groom and the sponsor on the left of the
 when the two put their wedding rings on,
  the bride tries to step on his foot, so she
  can have the supremacy in the marriage.
 The wedding
 Before entering the house where the
   party takes place, the bride looks through
  knot-shaped bread to the four cardinal points
  and, in accordance with what she sees, she
  can foresee the future
 Then, she breaks the bread in four and throw
  it in all the cardinal points
The wedding
 At the entrance, the bride’s mother sprays
  everybody with holly water and serve them
  with a glass of wine.
 Before the party begins,
the priest blesses the food
and the drinks, after that the
dance and the mirth
can begin.
The wedding
   The dance begins with o long traditional
    round dance
The wedding
   Then everybody dances in pairs or in
The wedding
 A practice kept till today is related to the
 At the wedding party, all the guests share a
  chicken, symbol for the consuming of the
The wedding
 At the end of the party, the orator puts a
  table in the middle of the room and a pot
  with water
 The bride’s mother offers towels to the
  sponsor and the best man
 They are the first to wash their hands in the
  water brought before
 Everyone makes jokes, by pouring ashes
The wedding
 The orator goes at every guest in the
  succession of the status: best man, the
  groom’s family, the bride’s family, other
  relatives and friends
 Each one of them must announce their
  gifts for the new family, that consist
  usually in money
The wedding
 The last moment is the bride's adorning
 The veil is got down from the brides head
  and replaced by a head-kerchief
 This symbolizes the bride’s entrance in the
  world of matures
The wedding
 After the wedding, the young couple will
  live in the husband’s house
 The young wife must respect a few rituals,
  in order to establish her place in the new
 In Romanian traditions, the wife and the
  mother-in-law are at variance
The wedding
 The first thing to do for the young woman
  is to “conquer” the hearth, to show her
  mother-in-law that she is the new master of
  the house
 Also, the wife must bring water from the
  well and to put it near the hearth
 This practices assure the bride that she will
  have a solid marriage and many children
The funeral
The funeral
   Customs related to death are still actual -
    beliefs and rituals of ancient origins.
The funeral
The ritual has many stages:
 the severance of the alive ones,
 the preparing for the passing in the other
  world and the integration in the world of
  the dead,
 the social equilibrium restoration after the
  deceased one passing.
The funeral
 The relationship with the forefathers
  continues through different memorial
 The most important period is the one
  between the agony and the formation of the
  funeral convoy
 It is believed that the dead person’s soul is
  now omnipresent, it sees and hears
 The deceased has now an uncertain status:
  he hasn’t leaved our world and he hasn’t
  integrated in the other world
The funeral
   The candle lighting is one of the most
    common elements in the funeral ritual, that
    can be met at every christian nations even
    in our times.
The funeral
   Immediately after the death, the ones around
    him open all the windows and doors, so the
    deceased soul can get out

 All the bedclothes and all the deceased cloths
  are burned in the yard
 All the mirrors in the house are covered
The funeral
 The deceased bath is made by people of
  the same sex, which aren’t relatives
 In the water are put malefic plants, like
  nettle and the water is thrown in a safe
  place because, it is believed that it contains
  a part of the soul of the dead
The funeral
 As long as the deceased is in the house,
  he’s never left alone.
 The laments are a specific form of
  communication with the dead person
 During the vigil, some games are
  organized, as the last party of the deceased
The funeral the funeral takes place
After three days,
   The coffin is placed on a black hearse and on
    the way to the church, there are made 12
    stops, called bridges, symbolizing the journey
    to the other world
The funeral
 At the cemetery, the participants put
  money in the coffin, so the dead one can
  pay his journey
 Also, the family gives to everyone present
  towels, handkerchiefs, candles and knot-
  shaped bread
The funeral
 After the funeral, everyone gathers
at the relatives house
for the alms
   Some Romanian transition rituals are well
    kept even today, specially is the villages.

   The superstitions and the rituals are different
    from region to region, but they are based on
    the same life conceptions and beliefs.

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