In Romania, the Christmas celebration lasts from the 20th of December to the 7th of January. The first day of the celebration people celebrate St Ignatius Day. It is traditional that if a family has a pig, they will slaughter it on that day and use it for the meat in the meals. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on the 6th of December. In the evening before, the kids will clean their shoes or boots and leave them by the door and hope that St Nicholas will leave them some small presents. Tradition says that if it snows on December 6th, he has shaken his beard so that winter can now begin.
The celebration really begins on Christmas Eve, which is time to decorate the tree! Carol singing is also a big thing in Romania. On Christmas Eve, children will go out and and sing carols from house to house. The children get sweets, fruit, and traditional cakes called “cozonaci.” A traditional Roman Carol is the ‘‘Star Carol.’’ The star is made from colored paper and is decorated with tinsel, silver foil, and sometimes bells. It is put on a pole, and in the middle of the star is a picture of baby Jesus or a nativity scene.
Another Christmas Eve tradition is a drumming band that is usually made up of unmarried men. The band can have up to 50-60 people and is composed of mainly drums, but sometimes there can be a saxophone or a violin. Traditional Romanian Christmas foods include roast gammon and pork chops, a slightly sour vegetable soup made with fermented bran and pork meatballs, Romanian doughnuts, and cheesecake. ~ Brandon Smith