Easter is a religious celebration and usually, religion is not funny but we, Romanians have our own way of making things look different than they actually are. We are like car’s mirrors. Have you seen what is written on that mirror? “Objects may appear closer than they are”. That’s more or less what we do, except that we are making things look different. When something bad happens to us, we just make it look like no big deal and when something good happens, we gush of happiness. So, as I’ve said, we are like car’s mirrors, but funnier and more optimistic.
Below is a list of funny habits that we love to do for Easter:
1 We knock eggs
I don’t know where this comes from, but knocking eggs is a symbol of Easter in Romania. The eggs must be boiled and painted otherwise it brings bad luck, especially if they are not boiled .
Besides, we also have a very strange saying when we perform this “ritual”. Let’s see if I will be able to translate. One person has to keep the egg in his hand and wait while the other will kick the passive egg with its own. The person who prepares to strike must say: “Jesus has risen” and the other one must answer: “He has risen indeed”. After this ritual, begins the fight. The loser has to eat the egg while the winner has to continue until everyone gets bored. And so, we end up eating many more eggs than we should, getting directly to the point 3.
2 We buy new clothes
That’s my favorite one! How can you not love this tradition? I remember when I was a child; barely knowing what Easter means, how exciting I was to go with my mother or grandma in town to choose my new wardrobe. Under communism, shopping was not so popular; shops were rare (As far as I remember, there were 2 clothing stores in our town) and fashion was a very strange thing. I was crazy of joy when someone, a friend or a relative, who had been abroad, was coming (usually from Germany) with those huge magazines with beautifully dressed women. It’s a shame I don’t remember their name, as they have been guided my life like a bible. Anyways, you can imagine that now I struggle to recover all that time!
3 We all gain weight during Easter
Honestly, I don’t know whether to cry or laugh. Gaining weight might be a serious problem but eating foolishly everything you see on the table like it would be your last meal is funny and I don’t know why but we all practice this strange activity. I have never heard in my life of another nation so greedy when it comes to food. Did you know that during Easter or Christmas, hospitals in Romania are full of people who ate too much? Not to mention the news! All the reporters are in hospitals and all the Romanian channels release news about how hungry we are.
4 The wrong meaning of “denia”
In Romania there is a tradition around Easter which says that all the Christians should go to the church in the evening of Great Thursday, Great Friday and of course, Saturday night, before Easter, to attend “denia”- a special service held by the priest. All the kids and teenagers who are usually not allowed to go out and stay too late tell their parents that they go to “denia”, but in fact, none of them goes. This is the best excuse when they want to justify any delay. The truth is that they are all going to parties planned long ago or they spend the night in bars and clubs. You would be surprised to see how organized they are in order to plan these parties and believe me, I was one of them once.
5 The Passion Week???!!!
The week before Easter is ironically called “Passion Week” in Romania. In order to purify both the body and the soul, Christians are not allowed to eat animal products or to commit any kind of bodily sin. Actually they are not allowed to do anything that involves physical pleasure and they are not even allowed to think about it. No comment!
As you can imagine, Easter in Romania is much more than that, but I tried to capture a bit of its witty essence in order to banish the boredom of my readers.
Do you have some funny or weird habits for Easter in your country?