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Ana Maria Padurean

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2/8/2008 8:04:19 AM

Hello Everyone and Greetings from ROMANIA

Finally I've found some time to continue this Forum and to put up another thread in the propper time! I hope you will enjoy, as you did before, these trips  into our traditions and culture with me as your guide :-) and story teller! I know I'm not the best but at least  there are so many new and interesting things to find out.  So


The old name of February: "Faur" or "Faurar" (the old Romanian word for "ironsmith"), involves not only the ironsmith who prepares this month the objects used in the spring tilling, but also the frost which gives birth to new shapes.

The celebrations of this month are:februarie

  • February 1st: Trif, The Madman
  • February 2nd: The Welcome of The Lord (also named "Stefania"); The Winter Martins
  • February 10th: St. Haralambie
  • February 11th: St Vasile
  • February 24th: Dragobet

February 1: Trif, the Madman

The first day of February is dedicated to St. Trif and represents the first great celebration of the grape-growing, fruit-growing and agricultural calendar. For this reason, St. Trif's day is mostly celebrated in the hill and mountain areas.

The Moldavian legend goes that Trif was a man who liked to sing and party. One day, as he was tilling his land, Virgin Mary passed by, taking little Jesus to church for the first time. Taking her for another woman, Trif insidiously coughed after her. Angry, Virgin Mary stopped and told him: <<Mad man, let today be your day and tomorrow mine!�. Then she turned away.>>

Ever since Trif is called Madman Trif, and his celebration is one day before Virgin Mary's Day.

Another version of the story tells that Virgin Mary met Trif on her road to the church and they walked together. Suddenly, Trif wanted to get ahead and stepped on her dress. Angry, Virgin Mary said to him: <<Get ahead, madman, get ahead!�. For shame, Trif got ahead and never looked back.>>

A legend from Bucovina goes that a bunch of people lead by Trif, an important Jerusalem leader wanted to kill Jesus when He was brought by his mother to the temple. The angel protected little Jesus and gave Trif the mind of a madman. Seeing this, the others got scared and gave up their evil plan. After Trif came round, he became a saint.

According to another type of legend, Trif was a Christian persecuted by pagans. Trying to escape, he pretended to be a madman, but he was guarded even better. One night, God opened his cell and let him go out. Ever since, people think that Trif is a saint and that if they don`t celebrate his day, they would go mad.

During this day one shouldn't work for fear that the vineyard would be affected by hail and the wolves would eat the cattle. People also celebrate Trif's day in order not to go mad, not to go poor or they simply remember his sufferance.
***Of course all of this, nowerday is JUST legend, and we all have to work and almost no one get mad LOL***

Another legend has it that Trif protected Virgin Mary and her son of St. Peter's dogs, while St. Peter was taking care of his cattle and didn't pay attention. As a reward, Virgin Mary made St. Trif the master of the caterpillars, cockroaches and insects in generally. Women paste all the holes in the house, including the oven or the hearth, thinking that the eyes and the mouth of the birds, worms and harmful insects would be this way shut.

A bowl with corn flour is doled, in order that the grasshoppers should not eat the harvest of the next summer.

St. Trif is also seen as the patron of the wolves. It is said that once upon a time a man went to hunt. He climbed a tree and began to shot wolves. After his bullets had finished, he saw a man dressed in white clothes. He was telling to the wolves what each one should eat. A gimp wolf was the last to come and St. Trif (he was the man in white) told him to eat the man from the tree. Scared, the man cried for help. Some people working in the wood came and hunted away the wolf. The man arrived at home and told his boys to make a wooden box and carry him in it. They followed his order. Once, while walking to a fair, he met a man. He was running and asked them to hide him, as a wolf was following him. The boys put him in the box, together with their father. They waited, but the wolf didn't show up. Then they opened the box. A wolf came out and ran away. It had eaten their father, as he had been meant to it by St. Trif.

People from Bucovina say that the weather will be beautiful if there is snow on February 1st. On the other hand, if there is no snow, it will soon snow.

An old custom of this day is called "Gurbanu Viilor" (in Romanian language, "viilor" = of the vineyards). Men gather and go to the vineyards. Before leaving the village, they shout: <<Let's go to Gurbanu!>>. On the hills, they cut grape guts and make chaplets and belts for themselves. Then they dig out the wine bottle they had buried last autumn and the party begins. Gathered around a fire, on a hill, they eat, drink, dance, jump over the fire and throw wine one on each other. In the evening, they return home carrying torches and they continue the party with their families.
***what a pitty for the vine throuwn away?! LOL***

February 2nd: The Welcome of the Lord (also named "Stretenia");
 The Winter "Martins" (February 1-3)

This is the day when Jesus was brought to the temple of Jerusalem, 40 days after His birth. February 2nd is also called "Stretenie", with a Slavic word. As they didn't understand this word, the peasants named this way a bad dangerous woman, with a contradictory temperament, who is responsible for the weather changes.

It is believed that now "winter meets summer". In other words, if the weather is beautiful, so it will be the next summer. But if the weather is bad, next summer will be cold and poor in crops.
***At that time they knew nothing of greenhouse effect?!***

"The Winter Martins", three at number, are celebrated on February 1-3. February 2nd is dedicated to the Great Martin. They are the ones who stop the wolves from eating the cattle. For the same reason, the garbage should not be taken away. It is also said that one shouldn't throw coals in the yard, as the wolves come searching for them (it is believed that the wolves eat coals in order to give birth to more babies). In Banat region, various rituals are (***were as the mater of fact***) performed on February 1st, in order to protect the sheeps.

It is said that the bear comes out of his den this
day. If there's no sun and the bear can't see its shadow, it goes back and remains in the den for another six weeks. If the bear sees its shadow, it remains outside, thinking that the winter has passed.

Luna plina rasarita dupa un masiv muntos impadurit prin Teleobiectiv 800mm +Canon EOS 300DHoly water mixed with butter is put on the trees, in order to keep the caterpillars away.

The full moon on this night indicates a rich year.

February 10th: St. Haralambie
(Aralampie / Aralambie, Haralam / Aralam)

 St. Haralambie is the one who commands the death, the pest and the cholera. His feast is celebrated for fear of these diseases.The icons picture St. Haralambie holding the enchained pest.

Some legends say that St. Haralambie was a shepherd, that's why he protects the sheeps and cattles.

According to other legends, when he was very old, the saint traveled the world and cured the ill people. Once he arrived in the pagan land and the pagan emperor asked him where his power comes from. The saint said that his power had been given to him by God. The emperor called him a wizard and commanded him to renounce his religion and to become a pagan. St. Haralambie refused. Then the emperor threw him in jail and commanded the soldiers to flay him. The emperor's daughter asked if he didn't feel mercy for the man who he was torturing more than Jesus. The emperor got angry and banished her. His daughter left for the mountains and became a saint woman. Then ten thousands soldiers were ordered to take St. Haralambie out of jail and to cut him in little pieces. During the night, the emperor sent one hundred men to see what had happened. A great light was around the mass of human flash and the angels were taking the pieces and pasting them. Thus they made St. Haralambie human again and they took him to God. The Lord asked him what he wanted for his sufferance. The Saint asked God to keep the illnesses away from the people who celebrate his day.

A legend from Bucovina goes that St. Haralambie suffered a lot during his life. Before his death, God asked him to choose a reward. The Saint asked the people what he should take. The people told him to take the pest, which was killing many people in that time. The Lord gave him the pest and St. Haralambie tied it with a golden chain. Ever since he has kept it this way. But when people forget about his day, he lets the pest on the earth and the pest, which has wings and holds a great sword, goes and kills that people.

Another version of the story has it that St. Haralambie was the last to come when God assigned jobs to the saints. Thus he received a bitch in a golden chain.

It is believed that if it rains this day, then the rain will continue for 40 days.

In some Romanian regions, the women bake a little round bread and tear it in four parts, which they throw towards the four cardinal points. In other places, women get naked and go three times around their house: in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. This way, they believe that the evil is kept away.
(I've never seen one around any house these days LOL?!)

On this day food is doled, in the memory of the ones who died a violent death. The "coliva" (a traditional dish made of boiled grain) is kept to be given to the poultry in times of pestilence. As this day is a celebration, people don't work, but who really want to do it is allowed to tease wool.
***nower day we are all egarly willing to work and we all fake to tease wool! LOL***

February 11th: St. Vlasie

It is said that the beaks of the birds open on February 11. That's why who works on the field will share his crop with the birds, which will eat what he had seeded. For this reason, mainly the agriculturalists are the ones to celebrate this day.

The peasants respect this feast in order that the pregnant women should give birth to healthy children, with no malformations. The same thing applies to the cattle. When a domestic animal gives birth to babies with an abnormal number of feet, heads etc., it is said that the devil has came upon the household.

According to a Moldavian belief, who respects this day will always have money.

It is also believed that one should pray to St. Vlasie if he wants back something he had lost.

February 24: the "Dragobete"
- Valentine's Day, in Romanian stil and tradition -

The "Dragobete" is the day when the spring is said to begin. This day is dedicated to love and fertility and is also named "the beginning of spring".

Unfortunately its origin isn't known yet. Sometimes, Dragobete appears as the son of the Old Dochia (or as a shepherd who accompanies her in the mountains) or as the brother-in-law of Lazarica, another Romanian mythological character. Dragobete is similar to St. Valentine and he was often compared with Eros or Cupid.

People say that the one who don't celebrate this day will not be loved during the year, but the one who does it will be in love every day of the current year.

The "Dragobete" is the day when couples form. This applies not only to people, but to birds also.

The girls and young women use the snow which didn't melt until this day for washing them in certain days of the year. The tradition has it that men shouldn't annoy the women because they will have troubles.
***I think you can easily see this why?!***

The young people dance on the field and, if the weather is sunny, they cull snowdrops.

Birds mate and gather materials for their nest. If a bird didn't mate on this day, it will not be able to do it anymore and it will fly chirping from place to place until it dies. Other version says that the bird won't have babies until the next "Dragobete".

Everything began on this day will turn out just fine. The carpets and other textiles are shaken out, for the wealth to come back. Only working inside the house is allowed, for fear of illness.

I very much hope you enjoyed this pritty long trip! If you did I'm waiting you next time or if you want you may pay a visit to my other "old" posts! I'll do my best to come up with some news to each of them!


See you next time = LA REVEDERE :-)

With friendship,

PS: *** mark my own comments and they do not show any tradition :-)

Nick Sym

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Re: February
2/8/2008 6:23:18 PM
Thank You Dear Anamaria

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Ana Maria Padurean

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Re: February
2/9/2008 5:01:40 AM
Thank You so much Nick! You're a dear as always!
Larry Blethen

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Re: February
2/10/2008 9:57:50 AM

hello is always good to see your post..they are so interesting learn of your country..and make it interesting...Larry

Larry Blethen, 304-369-5603
Ana Maria Padurean

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Re: February
2/10/2008 12:32:20 PM
Hello Larry :-)

Thank you for your visit and interest!
I don;t have a too difficult job with making interesting as it is! I also love to read about all those traditions and customs that we have to keep alive being part of who we are! For our days these are most of them just "fairy tales"

With friendship,

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