Since the Internet and “surfing” on blogs were invented I found out (with not a small surprise) that there are countries (USA especially) where people start to decorate their homes for Christmas in the first day of Decembre. Surprise? Why was I surprised, you’ll probably ask, and I’m gonna give you the answer right away.
1’st step – is made in December the 6th, with Saint Nicholas. This is the perfect time to make small presents, especially for kids. The rule is simple: they have to prepare their shoes (boots), to make them clean, for “Moş Nicolae”, as is called Saint Nicholas in our language. This is the perfect time, also, for kids (and grown ups too :D) to find out if they were good during the year. How? That’s simple. If their boots are filled with oranges and sweets, in the morning of December the 6th, they were good boys and girls, but if they find a rod instead, then…..they were not really angels 😀
2’nd step – is the holiday clean up. There are people who start a general cleaning in the fall, but the tradition says that you must clean your body, spirit and house for the Christmas. That’s why, in the weeks before the big christian holiday people start to do a deep clean to their houses. Ah, and to not forget, the ortodox “advent time” (“post”, as we call it in romanian) is pretty difficult to keep, cause if you decide to clean your body, in the ortodox christian way, you are not allowed to eat meat, eggs, cheese, milk, and anything that comes from the animals (and the severe “post” tell you to not drink any alcohol, to not have to much fun, and even oil is forbidden). With other words you become a vegetarian for about six weeks.
3’rd step – cooking. Romanians (and especially transylvanians) are a bit obsessed with food and you may see that especially on holidays. They are buying, and buying and buying huge amont of food and they are also cooking a lot, to be sure their holiday table is filled with many great and tasty meals. Wondering what’s the traditional holiday dish you’d find all over Romanian houses? Sarmale. They are some cabbage rolls (or vine leaves) filled with minced meat and rice and taste yummmy.
the 4’th step – “Ajunul”, or the day (and evening) before Christmas, which is the time when people actually decorate their Christmas trees, and houses for holiday. In the evening is the best, cause people start to walk from door to door (to their friends and family members) singing about Christ’s Birth and usually they keep it this way till morning, when they get home very (and completely) drunk :)))).
the 5th step – Christmas with the family but the winter fun is far away from being over……..
I know I presented the sarcastic face of the holidays, because the friendly Romanian people make this holiday be warm, funny and lively. And because this is not what I wanted to talk about, I’m gonna come back to my flock :D. What I wanted to say is that we broke the tradition up for this year (the same as last year) and we actually decorated our tree already. I’ve chosen the blue and silver tones for it, and we put some fake snow on the window, together with blue lights. The whole decorating fun is far from being over, we have plenty of things to do, but for now you can enjoy with us the first part of the story…