Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Back to Caroling (Christmas in Maramures)
I am not sure if I should continue with the Byzantine-like old Romanian carols - we've had an interesting conversation on how both the language (which is Romanic, we are "Romanian" after all!) and the music style reminded her of the Latin liturgic music (which is quite normal, again, we are Orthodox, but we've borrowed a lot from Catholics).
I found this wonderful video:
While the music is not as beautiful as in other carols, it shows the customs in the country, customs I grew up with. We didn't get dressed in the popular attire, as I grew up in a small city, but people in that part of the country (north-west) still do on a daily basis. On Christmas Eve we would go caroling through the city: to teachers, friends, and complete unknown people (well, someone in our group would know them, it was a small city where everyone would literally know everybody else). They will invite us in the house and offer us sweet bread, apples, nuts, and pretzels. By the end of the evening we'd be so well fed it was hard to move anymore :)
You see the farmer's wife making the bread in an old oven - they still use it in parts of the country. And that bread is the yummiest bread you've ever tasted! There is also the tradition to make a cross over the bread before cutting it - and you see her doing that (in some places is still the head of the house, the husband who is cutting the bread).
I understand from friends back there that slowly this style of life is disappearing - which makes me sad, it definitely had a charm and a special link to ancestry, there are pre-Christianity traditions still alive there... which will be slowly dying.
More reason to cherish a video like this :)
I hope you enjoy our journey through old traditions from Eastern Europe.