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Lent: traditions awaiting Easter Holidays

15 April 2015 No Comment

IMG_3502_resizeWe are preparing to welcome the Easter holidays by keeping Lent, which lasts 48 days and starts immediately after the Sunday of Forgiveness, as it is written in the Orthodox calendar. There are some habits that are held pending this holiday. Lent is the way that is encountered the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Easter Feast.

The first day after Pancake Day is called Clean Monday, when, long ago, old women wove cloth from which the shirts were worn by Easter. Also on this day, is used to purify the place where people were living.

Lent half core was called The Wall Core or Miaza Păresii (from the word Păresimi designating the lent of 40 days), celebration counted as a wall that separates the Lent in two sides. In this day were doing no work, because everything worked this day breaks, not last, but could counter the eggs left in the nest of Pancake Day (to be reddened by Easter) and dollops of flax, hemp and wool .

Every Saturday of Lent up until Maundy Thursday, were brought and still bring nowadays, wafers and cake to the church, who give alms for the dead, after their consecration by the priest.

On Martyrs Day, celebrated on March 9th, households gave fire to garbage, women smoked the house and garden trees with patches of burning rags, to shun them from bugs and beasts. The custom to make “măcinici” from baked dough and then moist, smeared with honey and sprinkled with nutmeg in a figure 8 for the family and alms for the dead, is still preserved today.

Then, on Annunciation is absolution to fish, a day that we eat fish, to be healthy and sharp, like a fish, all year. Who doesn`t wakes up early in the morning on this day will be sleepy all year. Also on this day, it is said that is untied the songbirds language, and the cuckoo, which has been all winter a hawk, restores to cuckoo until Midsummer. Those who hear him singing for the first time, ask him how much they have until death or marriage. Another superstition says that it is not good to look the birds for eggs in this day or put them under the hen for the chickens will become crippled, or it will be sick. However, eggs laid on Annunciation are not preserved, nor are consumed. It is said that just as is time on the Annunciation, so shall it be on Easter. In Neamt, this year, the weather was beautiful on Annunciation.

The last week of Lent, Holy Week, which begins after Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the time of triumphant receiving that the crowd made to Savior. This week, on Thursday called Maundy Thursday, in ancient times, they cut the hair of the catlle, the girls picked up nettle root and leaves of walnut that wash their hair with and boys cut their hair and buried at the root of a willow. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are days that commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross. The Good Friday is taken fasting, ie not eating anything.

The morning after the night of the Resurrection, place a red and one white egg in a bowl of water in which are coins. Children wash their face with water and reach their cheeks with eggs from the bowl to have a rich and healthy year.

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