Are you looking for a different vacation destination in Romania? Do you want to disconnect from the modern world and relive the times of your childhood?
Here is a list of customs and traditions in Bukovina that will convince you to take a journey back in time.
In these fairytale lands, excellently preserved, people still live without deviation from old traditions. Like in most rural areas, most traditions are related to major holidays.
Easter in Bukovina: Traditions and Customs
Even though it is said that the most beautiful winters are in Bukovina, the main celebration here is Easter.
A great joy for the Bukovinians, the Easter celebration begins on Palm Sunday, also known as the Sunday of the Branches. It is believed that the signs of this day are indicative of the entire year. If the weather is good on Palm Sunday, it is said that there will be a good and fruitful season. If the frogs appear on this day, it means that the Bukovinians will have a pleasant summer.
Also on Palm Sunday, the willow branches are blessed. Then they are taken home and placed by the icons, as a symbol of prosperity in the household. At the same time, the blessed willow branches are considered to bring love to unmarried girls and to drive away suffering for the sick.
The blessed willow branches are sacred in Bukovina. They are also placed on the branches of fruit trees or at the beehives. The buds of the branches were often ingested in the past, as they were believed to have healing properties.
Other traditions and customs in Bukovina are related to Holy Week. It is believed that during the 7 days between Easter and Palm Sunday, heaven is closed. The souls that perish during this period are believed to end up in hell.
Eggs are decorated on Good Friday. On this day, nothing is baked or sown. If someone dies in the village on this day, it is believed that the eggs will not be colored well.
On Easter night, the Gates of Heaven are opened and the Bukovinians make their wishes for the upcoming year. Be very careful on the road to the Resurrection. Those who fall on the road are believed to have bad luck for the entire year.
On Easter Day, the whole family washes with fresh water, in which a silver coin and a red egg are placed. It is believed that they will be clean and rich like silver, red in the cheeks and healthy like the egg. Then the Easter bread (blessed by the priest) is taken.
The Easter traditions and customs continue until Ascension.
Here is a superb documentary that describes the beauty of Easter celebrations in Bukovina.
Winter in Bucovina: Traditions and Customs of the Holidays
The last month of the year is full of customs and traditions in Bucovina. These ancient customs have been passed down from generation to generation to this day.
Bucovina is the place in Romania that has best preserved the beauty of the winter holidays. It is also one of the places where you have the best chances to find snow on Christmas or New Year's.
Carols, folk songs and shouts vary from one village to another. Some of them are of Christian origin, others pagan. Most of the latter are humorous and target the activities of the person being caroled.
Popular theater scenes, held at the gate or within the households, are not uncommon in the Bucovina villages. Carolers wear folk costumes with local specificities and are accompanied by musicians carried in plows pulled by oxen.
The traditions continue after New Year's, with Sorcova, Chiraleisa, and the throwing of the cross into the water on Epiphany.
The spirituality of the Christian people is very suggestive here, which has allowed the perpetuation of the archaic village. Young and old alike eagerly await the winter holidays in Bucovina, and tourists from all over the world come to witness this unique spectacle.
To get in touch with all these customs and traditions in Bucovina, you must carefully choose your accommodation.
Travlocals has selected for you the most beautiful guesthouses, traditional houses, and cabins for rent, which you can quickly and commission-free book through the platform.
Our hosts are carefully verified to ensure they offer memorable experiences to those who cross their threshold.