Christmas (Romanian: Crăciun) in Romania is on December 25 and is generally considered the second most important religious Romanian holiday after Easter. In Moldova, although Christmas is celebrated on December 25 like in Romania, January 7 is also recognized as an official holiday. Celebrations begin with the decoration of the Christmas tree during daytime on December 24, and in the evening (Christmas Eve, in Romanian: Ajunul Crăciunului) Moş Crăciun (Father Christmas) delivers the presents.
The singing of carols is a very important part of Romanian Christmas festivities. On the first day of Christmas, many carolers walk through the streets of the towns and villages, holding a star made of cardboard and paper on which are depicted various scenes from the Bible. Romanian tradition has the smallest children going from house to house, singing carols and reciting poems and legends during the whole Christmas season. The leader of the group carries with him a star made of wood, covered with metal foil and decorated with bells and colored ribbons. An image of the Nativity is painted on the star’s center, and this piece of handiwork is attached to the end of a broom or other long stick.
Romanian food served during the holidays is a hearty multi-coursed meal, most of which consists of pork (organs, muscle, and fat). This is mainly a symbolic gesture for St. Ignatius of Antioch.Return to Warm Wishes From Around the World