The best part about Romanian Christmas traditions is carol-singing. Carol-singing is the most widespread Romanian tradition. In Transylvanian villages, the tables are laid wide, waiting for the carol-singers. Traditionally, carol-singers start their day at dawn, and end it at dusk. After they sing two or three carols in the courtyard, the youth are invited inside, to be properly welcomed and fed with caltabosi, sangerete, and sarmale (sausage made with pig intestines, blood sausages and cabbage rolls). They are also served cider, mulled wine or tuica (plum brandy). Last year, while I was visiting in Moldova, I was served with izvar which is boiled red wine mixed with black pepper and honey.
This year I had yet another privilege to carol-sing, only it was in Phoenix, AZ. The beautiful thing about Romanian Christmas traditions is that it doesn’t matter where on earth you are located–you can still sing O ce veste imbucuratoare and other Romanian Christmas carols along with friends, neighbors, and relatives just as long as Christ is the center of it all.
Another great thing about Romanian Christmas traditions is Romanian food. Sarmale is the most popular dish served in Romanian communities, especially during the holidays. Below are a few photos I took today of some traditional Romanian food made by my mother.
Sărbători fericite = Happy holidays!
Sarmale – Stuffed cabbage rolls
Mămăligă cu brânză şi cârnaţi – Polenta with cheese and pork sausage