Traditions are an extremely important part of a people's culture. They mirror a whole popular philosophy, ancient beliefs and magical rituals, loaded with symbols. By learning about traditions, children discover a fascinating world, with fairies, plants with healing powers and divine miracles. They come into contact with the collective memory of the Romanian people and learn to make symbolic connections, which help them to look at the world from a unique perspective: that of faith in something supernatural, above human will.
The holiday of Sanzienes
Immediately after the summer solstice, on June 24, the Romanians celebrate Sanzienele or Dragaica, a celebration of love and fertility. It is linked to a series of rituals for health and plenty in the household, as well as practices of girls who want to find out their fate and when they will get married. In the Christian-Orthodox calendar, the same day marks the birth of Saint John the Baptist, the one who baptized the Lord Jesus in the water of the Jordan.
The holiday of Sanzienes, as she is known in Transylvania, would originate a Roman cult, related to the goddess Diana - "Sanctae Dianae". Other specialists consider that at the base of this tradition is an ancient solar cult of Geto-Dacian origin, the Sanzians being often represented in the culture of the Thracians chained in an hour.
Legend has it that on the night of June 23 to 24, the skies open and the Sanzienele descend to earth. About Sanziene it is known that there are ten young gods, extremely beautiful, who form the nuptial alley of the goddess of forests and fertility. They catch in the hour and "give powers" to the flowers and weeds, which thus become healing plants, good for all diseases. Their ritual dance is related to the symbolism of the Sun and marks the special character of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
About Sanziene it is believed that it flies through the air, sharing the fruit of the holdings. Through their songs, they invoke the fertile nature, increasing the fertility of married women, multiplying birds and animals and appearing hail seeds.
Sanzienes are great lovers of justice. They punish all those who do not respect their holiday. Women mouth their mouths, and men who have sworn vainly or have done no wrong are planning terrible penalties. Whoever does the work in the Sanziene household can die drowned or distressed.
Photo source: mistica.ro
The night when the heavens open
The Sanzienians, although they are said to be daytime acts that worship the Sun, warm their hours at night, when the "heavens are opened". It is wonderful how this pagan tradition is combined with the significance of the birthday of St John the Baptist.
The Gospel of Matthew testifies that at the time of the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ, the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended on the Son of the Lord in the form of a white dove. The opening of the heavens at the time of the Baptism of the Lord is also spoken in the Gospel of Luke.
The opening of the Heavens thus marks the merging of the sacred with the profane. In religious terms, man joins the Divinity, cleansing himself of such sins.
Sanzienes Night, a celebration of magic and love
The magical night of Sanziene and the holy feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist weave their symbolism, to remind the Romanians about the divine power, miracles and love.
On the night of Sanziene, the girls from the villages used to put flowers of Sanziene under the pillow, in the belief that they would dream of their bear. In some areas, the young people who wished to get married had their braids crowned with sanzieni, which they left overnight in gardens or in clean places. If they found dew-wreaths in the morning, it was a sure sign of maritis.
The flowers collected on Sanziene's day are taken in crowns or tied in the form of a cross, to be taken to the church, where they are consecrated. People keep these flowers in the belief that they have magical powers.
Another practice related to Sanzien's holiday is to warm yourself up with chicory stems. This plant would have the gift to confer health and increase in work.
The girls who want to be liked by the boys wash their heads on Sanziene day with a large grass opening. Women and young people are warming up in running water to be safe from disease. Another popular belief says that wives who want to be fertile have to roll naked through the dew, before the sunrise.
Tags Traditions children