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May 26, 2022

Northern Romania ethnic Ukrainians celebrate old-rite Christmas

The about 1,200 ethnic Ukrainians living in Satu Mare county, northern Romania, are preparing to celebrate the old-rite Christmas, with traditional dishes and old customs.

Secretary General of the Ukrainians’ Union in Romania, Liuba Horvat told Agerpres on Tuesday that in all the Ukrainian communities in the county she has visited, the residents are making preparations for the old-rite Christmas.

“There’s a gap of 13 days. Christmas is celebrated in the biggest community of Ukrainians in the county, at Micula, as well as in the villages of Dacia, Paulian, Tasnad or Carei. Seven or twelve fasting dishes are prepared and put on the table. The fasting day lasts until five o’clock when the sun goes down. A tablecloth is put on the table, under the table hay, in the middle a candle and the table legs are tied with chains in order to protect the house from evil things,” Liuba Horvat said.

The traditional fasting dishes are based on beans, mushrooms, dried fruit. Other dishes are kutya, made of wheat, honey and nuts, dumplings with potatoes, mushrooms, fried onion, jam or cabbage rolls (sarmale).

“Another custom is to put plum brandy on the table and a separate glass for the relatives not present. All raise their glass with the glass of the person not present, and at the end the owner of the house drinks for those not attending the meal,” according to Liuba Horvat.

“It’s mandatory to feed the animals before the sunset, because the sky opens and you must not be denounced to God. The animals give even higher production in the upcoming year if they are well taken care of on this day,” Horvat said.

Caroling kids are also waited, and other customs, similar to the Romanian ones, are also held on Christmas Day.

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