New Year celebrations in Romania are a colourful carnival of characters and quirks. It’s a pretty big deal for locals and visitors alike, so it’s good to know what you’re letting yourself in for if you plan to take a holiday to Romania over the New Year holidays. You can even join us andDiscover Bucharest in Half a Day as part of your trip! A lot of the activities and events are based on old traditions, so let’s take a look at what these include so that you can make the most of your stay.
Many Romanians believe that you start the year how you mean it to go on. So, to bring some positive energy to the year ahead, locals often do a huge clear out of the house. This symbolises keeping both a tidy house and a clean soul. The same superstition applies to money: if you enter New Year with no money in your bank, your income will dwindle over the following 12 months. This is a good incentive to not to spend all your holiday money during the celebrations!
Children kick off the fun by going from house to house with ribbons and bells, performing the traditional folk son ‘plugusorul’. The message of the song is about bringing healthy crops to people in the months to come. As the day goes on, adults join in with spreading the little plow message, with even more bells and whistles. In some, more rural villages, they even bring out plows or bulls. Hopefully, you’ll be in the mood for lots of song and dance.
The ‘dance of the bear’ is a performance that takes place in the street gatherings, with everyone coming together dressed in masks and costumes. It celebrates death and rebirth in the most vibrant, fun and totally unique way. Expect loud, rhythmic drums, raucous crowds and lots of animal puppetry. Make sure you get a costume sorted to get into the swing of things with the locals. Bulgarians also have their own mask dance, and you can visit this equally beautiful country with us on our Day Trip to Bulgaria from Bucharest!
Many people in Romania believe that if you toss a coin in the river, you will have good luck all year. You might as well give it a try while you’re there! Another annual ritual expected to bring good luck involves onions. Yes, onions. Apparently, if you peel and salt the onions, you can then ‘read the onion skins’ to predict what the weather will be like throughout the following year. With all that good luck in the bank, perhaps this would be the ideal time to visit Dracula’s castle!
What’s a New Year celebration without some good local fare? Make sure you don’t go on a holiday to Romania without sampling at least one of the following: Romanian sausages (mititei), sour meatball soup, sauerkraut cabbage rolls or Romanian jellied pig’s feet. We didn’t say traditional necessarily means appetising…
That should be enough to get you into the spirit of a Romanian New Year holiday. Follow the local crowds, keep an open mind and let yourself have some fun in a way you might not have imagined before. Please get in touch if you have any queries, and from everyone here at Gray Line Romania, have a very merry Christmas a very happy New Year.