Romanian Folk Music
The oldest form of Romanian musical creation is represented by folk songs.
They are devided in many categories; for parents, for lovers, for mourning and so on, but the folk songs from our tours are for dance and joy and they are characterised by a great vitality.
The singers are ususally accompanied by a folk dance playing live by their musical instruments.
Kneading The Bread
Bread always had a sacred value in the Romanian traditional culture being seen as a witness and mediator of people relationship with the divinity. Therefore from ancient time Romanians use bread at the most important moments of their life : baptism, marriage and funeral. In villages, women still knead the batter manually and bake it in old ovens.
Did you Know ?
The name "Romania" comes from the Latin word "Romanus" which means "citizen of the Roman Empire."
Romanian is the only latin language which has developed in the Eastern part of Europe, the rest of them being slavic
The modern jet engine was invented by the Romanian inventor Henri Coanda in 1910.
On 18th of March 1906 Romanian inventor Traian Vuia was the first European to build and fly a fully self-propelled, fixed-wing ‘automobile airplane.
The insulin was discovered by teh Romanian scientist Nicolae Paulescu. He originally called it pancreine.
The fountain pen was invented by Romanian Petrache Poenaru. It was patented in May 1827.
In 1938 Romanian Stefan Odobleja published "Psychology consonantiste" in Paris. He set the basic themes of cybernetics. His work appeared ten years before Norbert Wiener’s ideas were printed. Stefan Odobleja is considered to be the "Father of Cybernetics".
The earliest Homo sapiens fossils, up to now, were discovered in 2002 in south-western Romania, in the Cave of Bones. The fossil’s age is estimated at 37,800 to 42,000 years old.
The statue of Dacian king Decebal, carved in the rocky bank of the Danube's Cauldrons, is the tallest rock sculpture in Europe (135 feet tall).
Europe’s second largest underground glacier, the Scarisoara glacier, is found underneath the Bihor Mountains in Romania. It has a volume of 75,000 cubic meters and has existed for more than 3,500 years.
Herastrau Park is Europe’s largest park within a city. It covers over 270 acres (110 ha), .
Bucharest was the first city in the world illuminated by oil lamps (1895).
Timisoara became the first city of Europe with electric street lighting in 1889.
Timisoara was also the first European city with horse-drawn trams in 1869.
Romania’s famous Peles Castle, from Sinaia, was the first completely electrified castle in Europe. The electricity was produced by the castle’s own plant.
The first screening of projected motion pictures took place in Bucharest in 1896, shortly after the world premiere in Paris. One of the Lumière brothers projected several films for Bucharest’s high society.
Bucharest’s Palace of Parliament, also known as the People’s Palace, is the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function and the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon in the US. It covers some 330,000 sqm.
The Voronet Monastery, located in northeastern Romania, is also known as the "Sistine Chapel of the East". Its frescoes feature an intense shade of blue also known as the "Voronet blue".
The tallest wooden church in the world, and the second tallest wooden structure in Europe, can be found in Sapanta Peri, Maramures of northwestern Romania. It has a 23 foot tall cross that weighs 1,000 lbs, on top of the 257 foot tall church.
Romania is home to Europe’s largest population of brown bears (over 6000 animals).
Romanian Nadia Comaneci was the first gymnast to receive a perfect score of ten in an Olympic competition, in Montreal in 1976.
Romanian Folk Textiles
The variety of Romanian folk costumes is huge and the combination of graphic motifs and colors is infinite. If you watch the right picture you can see several of the traditional costumes of town of Bran (the town where Dracula's castle is located). They are usually worn by peasants at special social ocassions like: weddings, festivals, rustic reunions, crafts trade etc.
Romanian women weave and embroider from childhood through old age using ancient style looms. This handicraft is handed down from generation to generation. There are villages where old women stilll weave with threads and yards produced by themselves. Almost every cloth article in their house is waved and embroidered. Tourists can see and shop: colorful rugs, wall hangings, furniture covers and clothing.
Tourists can see and shop: colorful rugs, wall hangings, furniture covers and clothing.
One of the most easily recognizable examples of Romanian art are the famous painted eggs for Easter. The legend says that when Jesus was crucified, Mary Magdalene came at the feet of the cross with a basket of food. The Jesus's blood dropped over the eggs in the basket, turning them red. Following this legend, Romanians started painting eggs in red in the Thursday before Easter. This is still done in every Romanian family every Easter.
But of hundreds of years, in certain villages, this custom was turned into an art. The peasants use the simplest tool (called kishitze), a stick with an iron tip, molten wax and dyes obtained from natural herbs.
Painting and knocking eggs on Easter has an important symbolistics: its shell stands for the stone that covers a grave, which when cracked opens the way into a superior form of living.
The popular artists prepare the eggs for tourists so that they can buy and keep them as decorative objects. They take out the substance of the egg through a tiny hall before boiling, so its shell is more resistant in time. Many craftsmen started also to paint ostrich eggs or wooden eggs. They don't broke so easily and can be easier transported.
On each 24th of June, Romanians celebrate "Sanzaiene Feast" also known as "Dragaica's Feast".
The Sanziene are a sort of fairies, also known as "iele" who sing and dance in circles in the forest. It is said that the "sanzaiene" give special powers to weeds and flowers, turning them into healing plants for all kinds of diseases. It is also said that men who see them dancing remain silent for good or become mad.
There is also the belief that using the flowers they picked during the day, the young girls can find out their mate. It is said that if the unmarried girl put "sanzaiene"under pilow she will dream her mate. In other villages the young girls braid floral crowns which they throw over the houses. If the crown doesn't fall from the house, it means she is going to get married next year.
People also believe that during this night, the heavens open up and women can make the strongest magic spells for love.
Junior's Parade is a beautiful feast that shows off the Romanian traditional costumes and offer to participants the opportunity to see ancient rituals (like round dance, throw of mace) and taste delicious food.
Some of the best Customs Festivals take place between Christmas and New Year's when you can enjoy an authentic experience.
Groups of young men in beautiful traditional costumes go from house to house caroling and dancing. In many villages the young men play "capra" (goat), a ritual dance that foretold an increase in shepherds' flocks along with abundant crops in the new year or "dance of bears". This ancient rite presents the fight between nature and man, and the last one's power to tame nature. Go vacation in Romania!
There are many traditions and customs for abundance and rich harvests and beginning of a better year like wheat eras mace feast and wheel in fire festival.
These are just several examples of the beautiful folklore of Romania. We invite you to join our tours and see Romanian folklore in its natural environment...read more