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Neamț County, a land of traditions and spirituality

24 April 2019 No Comment

Witnessing the Light of Jesus’ resurrection at the Monasteries in Neamţ County

Easter traditions in Moldova along with the greatness of the well-known monasteries in Neamt, the faithfulness of the people and the places full of spirituality contribute to transforming the Resurrection celebration into a special experience, sought after by thousands of pilgrims every year. Many of them say that here, in these holy places, one can feel the joy of the Resurrection more intensely, more meaningful, achieving a state of peace and fulfillment which can not be translated into words.

The Easter, the oldest and the most important celebration of Christianity, brings the hope of salvation and eternal life to the world. Through His supreme sacrifice, Jesus Christ is the proof of perfect love for mankind. As Saint Iustin Popovici said: “the entire history of Christianity is nothing more than the history of a single and unique miracle, the miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus, which continues to manifest in the hearts of Christians every single day, year after year, over the centuries untill the Second Coming of Christ.”

In Neamt, after the Resurrection service, the area becomes kind of a fairy land, full of lights; according to an ancient custom, people go to cemeteries and light candles on the tombs to share he Light with the loved ones who passed by. Afterwards, people return to their houses holding a burning candle light in their hands. The candles used on the holy night are kept safely all year long and lit only in case of serious trouble. There is a tradition of Christians washing their face and hands with water into which red eggs and silver coins have been thrown, on the first day of Easter. People use to clash red eggs at the traditional family gatherings and then dine.

Baked on Holy Thursday or Holy Saturday, the traditional cake (Romanian “pască”) is a baking made of wheat flour and cheese, either in round or square shape, reminding of the Savior’s tomb. This traditional cake is also baked on Saint George Day, Ascension Day or Whitsuntide. After these days, however, until the next Easter, no more traditional cakes are consumed. Another attraction on the Easter table is the delicious sweet bread, filled with nuts and Turkish delight.

One can choose to take the Light of the Resurrection from different holy places widespread in Neamţ County: the Neamt Monastery, the oldest monastic settlement in Neamţ which is also called the “Jerusalem of Romanian Orthodoxy”, the Sihăstria Monastery, where some of the greatest romanian hermits lived, Agapia, Văratec, Petru Vodă, Pângăraţi and many other holy places, churches and hermitages. But no matter the place one chooses to visit in order to take part in the holy service, the most important thing is to truly believe in the words of Jesus Christ, our Savior: “I am the Resurrection and Life; He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

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