Easter Celebration: Romanian Catholic Traditions

Stepping into Romanian traditions for Easter!

We are getting closer and closer to Easter. The date differs from Catholics to Orthodox. This can be explained by the fact that the Orthodox Church used the Julian calendar, whereas the Catholic Church kept the Gregorian one.

This year, for example, the Catholic Easter is celebrated on Sunday, the 4th of April, and with this occasion we would like to share with you some of the traditions and customs that Romanian Catholics are still practicing.

Traditions and customs:

  • Because spring is a symbol of cleanliness and rebirth, it is common to fast before the Easter celebration, adopting a vegetarian diet. This tradition is wide spread and it regards the communion mind-body-spirit, washing away the excesses done throughout the year, as an honour towards the greatest sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
  • The traditional dishes include the painted eggs and the lamb, that are also symbolising the supreme sacrifice. See more about the significance and
    history of painted eggs here!
  • Similar to the Orthodox celebration, the Romanian Catholic Christians are lighting up a candle on Saturday at midnight, being a gesture of acknowledging the rebirth of man and his right to resurrection.
  • Some Catholic Christians in Transylvania have the custom of decorating the trees that are placed in front of the gates of unmarried girls     
  • Related to the previous custom, one of the most famous Catholic Easter tradition is spraying (initially done with water, but nowadays people use perfume). On the first and second day of Easter, this sprinkling ritual occurs, where everybody has to be sprayed with either water or perfume, as a symbol of purification and fertility.
  • On Sunday morning, before breakfast, the family members wash their faces with water from a mug or a bowl in which they put a red egg and a coin, in order to attract health, wealth and beauty throughout the year.

Charming and particular, these traditions are passing the culture and the ancestral beliefs from generation to generation, while bringing the family together for a moment of celebration and sharing, in harmony, understanding and peace. 

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