I really don't know when April went “Buh Bye”, but it turns out we are two days away from the 1st of May and here, in my home country, Easter will be celebrated this weekend. I personally am looking forward to stuffing myself with food for two whole days and I plan on doing exactly nothing else but sleeping and watching movies. All movies but the Silence of the Lambs. I can't do that to myself on Easter. Lamb tastes delicious !
How is Easter in Romania?
I decided to take a break from the usual techie stuff and tell you a little about my home country. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but we have some pretty weird stuff we do here for Easter. First of all, before I move on to traditions and superstitions...boy, do we eat. Every time Easter holiday shows, we simply forget how to be normal human beings. It’s like we turn into hamsters simply stuffing their cheeks with food for the next 45 days. Wow!
And this comes after 40 days of not eating meat or many other good, healthy stuff, because we must follow the tradition of fasting. Imagine your stomach after 40 days of eating lettuce and drinking cold water. Eat ALL the pork, lamb and cake! Statistics say that Romanians go to the doctor on average, twice a year. Yes, with indigestion after Easter and cirrhosis after Christmas.
You have to wear new clothes!
And that’s not really bad. It’s cool to buy new stuff. But the problem is where exactly you need to wear them. First, this is specific just for a third of our country: a region named Moldova. Mainly you need to buy new clothes and it’s recommended (to be read as compulsory) that they are elegant. This also implies high heeled shoes for the ladies.
And you have to get dressed pretty, do your hair, look all wow and then you go to… the graveyard. I shit you not! On Monday morning, right after Easter, you get a suitcase full of pots, plates or bowls, pie, cheesecake, stuffed cabbage, steak, food in general, two or three bottles of alcohol and you take them to the graveyard.
Once you got there, you must put a tablecloth on the grave, yes, right over where your dead members of the family are buried, and over the tablecloth you must line up all the plates or bowls or pots, (this depends on your budget, you can buy either of them) and then you split the food you brought evenly in them and wait for the priest to come and say a prayer so that they become blessed. After the priest has left you take the pots one by one and go give them to other people you know in the cemetery and they will give you one of their pots/plates/bowls with food.
All this wearing some prom dress and high heels in a muddy graveyard! Sounds strange, doesn’t it?
You have to sit a whole night and guard a basket!
Ohh... wait! It gets even better: on Saturday evening, when you go to the ceremony, you also have to take a basket with you. This basket has about 4-5 kilograms of food in it (see how it is all about food?) and you have to form a line, after the ceremony, circling the church and wait again for the priest to come throw holy water over it. Since there are many people doing this, you can imagine a 300-400 people long line with baskets put in front of them waiting for the blessing. This takes about 4 hours, never less than 4 hours. During all this time, you need to hold a lit candle in your hand as you must take the holy light at home and it must not be blown off by the wind of anything. How’s that for an episode of survivor?
Ok, it’s weird, we are a weird bunch of people, but it is fun also. And the food is delicious. It’s a lot, as I said, but it is really coming from heaven. Should you ever reach our country (it’s called Romania), text me, I’ll take you to where no foreigner’s taste buds have ever been. Also, bring a new tuxedo for the visit to the graveyard. :)