Mar 092010

Versiune în română

Another day, another celebration 🙂 This one is called Mucenicii in Romanian, which translates as the Martyrs of Sebaste. It’s a religious holiday, celebrating the martyrdom of 40 Roman soldiers who confessed their believe in the Christian faith and were condemned to be left naked into an ice covered pond near the city of Sebaste in Armenia, on a cold winter night, so they might freeze to death. The way we celebrate this in Romania is with a feast day, by preparing a special dish in the honor of the martyrs. It’s the only time of year I get to eat this dish and even if it’s not much, not a very sophisticated affair, I really like it. The dish bears the name of the celebration – “mucenici” – and can be prepared in two ways. The ones shown in the photograph above are the kind we prepare in the south of Romania. The dish consists of pieces of dough shaped as number 8 which we boil in water, adding sugar, cinnamon, ground walnuts and a bit of rum. In the northeast of Romania, in Moldova, they bake the dough and glaze it with honey and walnuts and you can see the result in the picture below. They’re quite yummy and I can’t wait to eat them today. I’ll have to excuse myself for the quality of the photos. They’re from my archives and back when I took them I thought I was taking them for myself so I didn’t pay too much attention to framing or setting up the scene.

Mar 082010

Versiune în română

Not a very inspiring photo but I couldn’t think of anything else for this subject. On March 8th we celebrate International Women’ Day, another occasion for men to express their love for the women in their lives. Wikipedia has a very interesting page on this subject. They describe Women’s Day being celebrated in Eastern Europe as a mixture between Mother’s Day and St. Valentine’s Day. I think that’s a very good description. Most men just buy flowers for the women close to them or for the women they know they’re going to meet on March 8th and a gift for the wife/girlfriend. As this follows very close to Mărţisor celebration I have to say that March must be the best month for a Romanian florist.

Jul 292009

Passing in front of the The Palace of the Military Club (in the photo) yesterday, I saw a blue banner with the following message “July 29th – National Anthem Day”. Searching on the web I found out that that July 29th was voted to become the National Anthem Day in 1998 to commemorate the date when our national anthem was sung for the first time, on 29 July 1848. Good. It only took me 10 years to find out about it 🙂 The national anthem of Romania is “Deşteaptă-te române” which translates as “Awaken thee, Romanian!” or “Wake Up, Romanian!” the larger meaning being “stand up for your rights”. The lyrics are by poet Andrei Mureşan, a Romanian poet and revolutionary sang to a popular tune chosen by him and a friend. Since them, the song was sung any time Romanians needed a message of liberty and patriotism. It became the national anthem in 1989, after the Romanian Revolution, replacing the communist-era “Three Colors” (Trei culori). The first paragraph goes like this:

Wake up, Romanian, from your deadly sleep
Into which you’ve been sunk by the barbaric tyrants
And now or never, your fate renew,
To which your enemies will bow too.
Now or never let’s give proof to the world
That in these veins still flows a Roman blood,
That in our chests we still maintain our pride in a name
The victor in his battles, the name of Trajan!