The Romanian Easter is an Orthodox holiday. Easter (or the Resurrection) celebrates Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. This is always a Sunday holiday and the Monday after is usually a free day.
The word for Easter in Romanian is Paște, with its other form Paști. The most commonly known Easter tradition in Romania is painting eggs. How the eggs are painted will vary from one region to the other. Red is the traditional colour (it symbolizes Jesus’ blood), but in modern days Easter eggs go in many other colors.
But what’s specific to Romania is the tradition of painting the multi-coloured eggs, with complicated motifs which vary from region to region. They are usually sold in traditional fairs. These are empty egg shells which are each painted handmade.
The traditional food for Easter is based on lamb meat. Every part of the lamb is used: the head goes in the soup, the organs are used to make drob, and the legs are roasted in red wine and served with roasted potatoes and spinach.
Romanians also bake a cake with cheese, called Pasca. The Romanian cake called cozonac is also baked for this holiday. A loaf of cozonac and a few red eggs are usually the alms gift, a traditional give away which is believed to feed the souls of those who died.
The Resurrection itself is celebrated on the night before the Easter Day – this year the Orthodox Easter is on April 16, the same day as the rest of the Christian world. The night before that, people go to church to light the candle and bring the resurrection light into their homes.
After the return from midnight mass, hard boiled eggs are cracked between family members with the words “Hristos a înviat“. The correct response is “Adevărat a înviat“ (He has truly risen). This exchange becomes the standard greeting between Romanians for the first few days after Easter.
Un Paște fericit!
Images` sources: shutterstock