Romania is a land of magic. From wedding superstitions to magic nights, there are many Romanian rituals to be discovered. And guess what? Not everything is vampire-related. Even more, the spooky side of history is just a small part of the Romanian culture. Careful, if you are too clumsy, bad luck might chase you. Or maybe you are a cat enthusiast? Romanians are too, but black ones aren’t everybody’s favorites. There is a tradition for every big and not-so-big event: birth, wedding, rain, spilling salt, breaking a mirror. Let’s dive deeper into folklore!
So, you are visiting Romania. That’s a good start. How about taking it a little further? Getting married in Romania is an experience in itself. And even if your other half is not Romanian, you can still celebrate love in Dracula’s country. However, you’ll still need to respect all the Romanian rituals and do it the proper way. What is so special about Romanian weddings?
Romanian wedding rituals
First of all, a rainy wedding day brings good luck and happiness for the new couple. Soaked, but lucky? Sounds like a good deal! Second of all, who breaks glass for fun? Oh well, at a Romanian wedding, the bride and groom will do that. They smash two glasses on the floor and the more pieces that shatter, the happier their marriage will be.
Their special day starts with the groomsmen shaving the groom and getting him ready for the wedding. This way, the husband-to-be becomes a man and is ready to start his new family. Meanwhile, at the bride’s house, a similar ritual is happening. For good luck, she must wear something new, something borrowed, something old and something blue.
While at the church, if there are two weddings, the brides will avoid each other. It is bad luck if they meet. Their marriages might even end with a divorce. There are even more Romanian superstitions to be aware of, at a Romanian wedding. For example, close to the end of the reception, the “binding” (legatoare) will happen. Godmother takes off the bride’s veil and puts a scarf on her head. Once the ritual has been performed, she is officially not a girl anymore, but a married woman. Also, the scarf should never be black. A bride that wears a black scarf on her wedding day will attract bad luck and might even become a widow.
Usually, no one invites the Romanian mythical monsters or Transylvania vampires. However, kidnap is always happening. The groom’s friends will hide the bride and ask for ransom. Once they reach an agreement, the bride and her kidnappers return to the party.
Romanian rituals for life events
When the wedding turns into a happy memory, is time for the child to become a subject for Romanian rituals. The expecting mother might have the ability to bring rain. This ancient belief is deeply related to nature’s germinative capacity: rain brings prosperity, a mother brings life. Later on, the most spiritual moment is the newborn’s first bath. The water is prepared by his godfathers and contains different ingredients, each one serving a purpose for the baby’s future. They don’t tell him yet the history of Transylvania Dracula or what is Transylvania famous for, but he’s bound to find out as soon as he grows.
Do you think that’s enough? Oh well, we are just starting. In Romania, if you share your drink with someone, never give them your last sip. If you do so, you just gave away your beloved one. We don’t want that to happen! Even more, did you forget something at home? Too bad, but don’t go back, if having a bad day isn’t your goal. And if you’re home, don’t throw your garbage after sunset, or bad luck will follow.
Even for funerals, one must consider several Romanian rituals. Firstly, in front of the deceased’s house, an evergreen is placed. Secondly, never close all the windows! At least one should be always open, so the soul can leave. Thirdly, all mirrors must be covered with black canvas – this way, the deceased’s spirit can’t see his reflection and he won’t become a ghost. Meanwhile, if you break a mirror, seven years of bad luck will follow. Additionally, in some rural areas, if the family runs out of tears, they can hire one or several ” mourners ” (bocitoare). These ladies would cry and mourn the dead, to express the family’s grief.
To sum up, besides the well-known werewolf legends, Romanian wolf legends, and many others, Romanian rituals are part of our daily lives. If you want to learn more about Romanian folklore, check our articles on bogeyman legend and basilisk snake.