The Romanian folklore is a big happy family. Vampires, fairies, mythological creatures, and monsters co-exist in tales and stories. Even more, from spooky legends to love rituals, Romanian culture has them all. What do you need today? Maybe it is a bedtime story, for your little one? Or a love story would be better, to melt your other half’s heart? No matter what you choose, there is a Romanian story for every day, mood, or occasion. And if the story isn’t enough, for sure some Romanian rituals will brighten your day. Let’s see!
A story for every season
Who loves Spring celebrations? Everyone, right? Without a doubt, Romanians love it as well. That’s why, on the first day of March, Martisor Romania is celebrated. It’s a symbolic way to welcome a new season and honor nature’s rebirth. Later, when Easter comes, the story of the Kind-Hearted Ones, Blajinii in Romanian, comes back to life. Additionally, in some regions, The Easter of the Death is celebrated in memory of the deceased. How about love? On the 24th February Romanians celebrate Dragobete. On this day they also welcome Spring.
Other Romanian stories are deeply related to what is Transylvania famous for. In summer, when the full moon rises, you might hear the wolves howling. Anyway, watch out! Maybe they aren’t just wolves…There are many night creatures in the Romanian folklore. You never know who is hiding in the dark. If you’re into werewolf legends, it is better to not check at all where the sound comes from. Our mind is a funny thing. Luckily, the Romanian folklore plays nicely with it. Also, summer is the ideal time to visit Transylvania Dracula. But don’t be intimidated by his fame. There are other Romanian mythical monsters out there, ready to give you shivers.
As soon as the snow starts falling, Romania becomes a paradise for winter sports lovers. Even more, wolf-watching is great during this season. Their traces are easier to spot. You might meet the protagonists of these Romanian wolf legends. That would indeed make a good travel story. Nights are longer in winter, but maybe it is a smart idea to not stay out too late. Consider this bogeyman legend … As you can see, the Romanian folklore is “overpopulated” with surprising and sometimes strange characters.
History, myths and tales
The complexity and the beauty of the Romanian folklore aren’t based just on mythology and collective imagination. Many tales and characters are related to the country’s history. For instance, Transylvania Vampires are well-known around the globe. Even more, Dracula is the most famous vampire of all times. However, not many are aware that he was a real person. Vlad the Impaler was one of the most important Romanian rulers. His way of punishing thieves and enemies made him famous and, many years later, inspired Bram Stoker to create his blood-thirsty character. Fun, right?
Also, other creatures, more or less real, are populating the Romanian beliefs. Let’s take a look at the basilisk snake. Inspired by the Greek culture, the mythological monster is an entirely fictional character. It was created by J.K Rowling in Harry Potter’s Universe. Then again, it has a Romanian “brother” – the vasilisc. Other countries have their own “basilisk snakes”, but Romania took a step forward and came with its version. After all, that is pretty cool.
And this is just a big piece of the puzzle. Additionally, one can’t ignore the Romanian dragons. These mythological creatures play an essential role in the Romanian folklore. Sometimes positive characters and other times villains, these fantastic creatures are mentioned in several stories. Mythical villains, such as balaur, are favorite antagonists in Romanian tales. The unknown has a strange power upon our imagination. These characters are a reflection of it.
Superstitions and Romanian folklore
No culture lacks them. It might be the black cat. Maybe it’s an unlucky number. Sometimes it’s related to your clothing. No matter what you do, there are Romanian superstitions for every situation. Itchy nose, itchy limbs, restless legs – all of them mean something. Hiccuping? It is because someone is talking about you. Or maybe your ears are tingling? Then it is an insulting talk. Rainy day? You might need an umbrella, but don’t open it inside. It brings bad luck. And we don’t want bad luck. Or do we?
To sum up, the Romanian folklore means much more than vampires and spooky tales. Even more, all these mythical creatures, tales and beliefs are part of it. Everyone is playing a role: monsters, fairies, villains and antagonists. Take your time on discovering it! It will surprise you. And you might end up wanting more. Until then, enjoy! And don’t forget to smile, while traveling from your couch!