marți, 6 noiembrie 2012

Christmas preparations in Romania

There are some interesting traditions in Romania about Christmas preparations. And these traditions are carefully held in mostly Romania to the countryside mainly, don't imagine that life in Bucharest is very different from the life of Rome very much. You can't avoid these traditions to get lost.
The Romanian traditions are being kept mainly at the countryside (fortunately, 50 % of the population still lives there)

This is a good reason, and maybe the only one, to be against globalization. We don't need the life to be the same in every corner of the world, we need local colors, local smell, local flavor, and this is the most important thing I appreciate when visiting a new place. Cultural exchange is the best and most important issue  in travel, at least for me.
Globalization shall not mean losing roots or losing traditions. This is maybe the reason to be against globalization for many people.

Romania still consists on 50 % villages, where you still can find happy healthy people living according the local age-old habits. For the wine farmers, the harvest shall have been made until beginning of November. Mean while the wine started the noisy fermentation (lasts one week), which is followed by the still fermentation for three weeks. That means, it is best time to filter the wine, because these sediments can spoil it. A talented somelier tastes it daily trying to correct the smell and flavor by mixing to other sorts. It is really a story of hard work until you enjoy a glass of wine.
The Romanian vineyards are a place where the traditions are strictly kept

There is a tradition among the wine farmers to drink in Autumn by the middle of October young wine, still fermentating, but not in the noisy stage, with a grill of sheep pemmican.Smells wonderful this mix, check it. I will hold this tradition every Autumn. I promise.

In Bucovina and Transilvania there are other traditions, given by the sheep owner. There are huge sheepherds coming back in the village for the winter, after grassing all summer long on the mountain peaks. You can imagine, is a good oportunity for celebration, but you can't imagine the proportion until you haven't seen it. There are festivals, where the people are cooking polenta in big boilers, eating after with cheese. They also grill the pemmican, or even fresh mutton.
Romanian were a people of shepherds. My both grandparents still  had sheeps 70 years ago. It is also my dream for retirement

So, in vineyards the wine for Christmas is preparing in the cellars; the salty smoked pemmican waits in the larders. Another important tasty part in the Christmas menu will be the sour pickles. Still possible to set them now, even a little too late.

The spiritual side is not neglected, specially to the countryside, where the communion life goes around the church, gathering people at least once every week, on Sunday. By the beginning of December will start the Christmas fast, lasting 3 weeks ( no meat allowed!).

At a bigger scale, the Romanian leading restaurants do all these things. And everybody prepares the pigs for Christmas slaughtering, which is an event you may not miss (but is a bloody festival, take care).

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