In the Romanian popular belief, on December 24th or Christmas Eve, it is the end of the year holiday patronized by Santa Ajun, the master of time and the holder of the power of the coming year. He would be none other than the twin brother of Santa Claus, the one who commanded him to go out on Christmas Eve before the feast day of the birth of Jesus. Also on Christmas Eve, cut the pig, decorate the fir tree and cook the cozonac.
The legend of Santa Ajun
In the Orthodox Christian tradition, Santa Ajun stands by other symbolic figures, such as Holy Friday or Santa. Christmas and Christmas are two old men forgotten by the weather, with white beards like snow, which look like two drops of water. They are good and kind, they go around the world and they give presents to children. Santa Ajun gives nuts, pears, meats, cakes, carols, pies, cakes, sweets and all kinds of sweets, while Santa brings clothes, shoes, toys and meat.
The elders from the traditional Romanian villages say that the Mother of God, surrounded by the pains of the feast, would have asked for help to Santa Ajun, who guarded the cattle at night. But he considered himself too poor, so he directed him to his older brother, Santa. But he would have been a bad man, so his wife, Christmas, a merciful and good-hearted woman, hid Mary and her husband, Joseph, in the animal stable. When he found out what had happened, Christmas got so angry that he cut off his wife's hands. The virgin Mary, in her infinite kindness, did a miracle and clapped Christmas hands in place. Seeing that Mary is endowed with divine grace, Christmas bitterly repented for his deed and decided to become a gentle and merciful man.
Another legend says that Santa himself sent Christmas to move Mary. After giving birth, he placed the Lord Jesus under an apple and, gladly, began to gather fruit from the tree and then drop it to the children passing by. Shortly afterwards, his brother, Santa Ajun died. So Santa decided to bury him just under the tree where he had recently placed the baby Jesus.
Santa Ajun is considered, in other stories, as the last of the apostles. He commanded people not to eat until they kissed the icon of the dance. As it used to come only toward sunset, many people became sick and died. Seeing this, the others revolted and understood to kill him. They surrounded him, but he pulled the belt with which he was hot and started firing with his pistols.
It is said that on Christmas Eve, the heavens open and the angels begin to sing. Only those who have a clean soul can hear the voices of angels. Whoever wants and is truly faithful, can stay up all night to catch the moment when the heavens open. Tradition says that this moment is marked by a drill, which is heard from above, and by the singing of the roosters.
In many Romanian villages, the tradition of cutting pork is kept on Christmas Eve, and not during fasting, so that no veal or pork chop is smashed so that those in the fasting house are also defiled. The merciless of the yarn should not participate in the cutting of the pig, because it is believed that the pig will die with weight and his meat will no longer be good.
A common custom in both villages and cities is to come to the priest with the icon of the birth of Jesus Christ, accompanied by the strange singers, to walk the threshold. The priest with the icon and the singers embodies the three wizards from the east, who came foretold the birth of the Lord.
On Easter, the country cooks cozonacs. It is not good to consume cold food at this day, because it is believed that this drink was invented by the devil and you will not be able to stop drinking. If you put your mouth on the racket, the unclean will make you believe that his drink has priority, before all the dishes.
Towards evening, in the houses of the Romanians who keep the customs of Ajun, a meal with two breads, salt, fish, wheat and a glass of water is poured. Faith says that the dead come at night and eat from those pieces.
In some parts of the country, young people keep a little village called Vicleim or Irozi. This is, originally, a miniature puppet theater, with a stage where the dolls were played and a showcase through which you could watch the game. The theater looked like a castle with several towers, dressed in painted paper with scenes depicting the birth of Christ. The group of carolers consisted of six people: four singers, a puppet and a whistle. The owner of the house came out to meet those with Vicleiu. While the carolers sang, the doll played with the dolls dressed in national costumes different satirical aspects of life.
The elders say that it is not good to give anything in the house of Eve, nor to borrow. At the same time, it is not good to receive guests in the evening between Christmas Eve and Christmas. Luck will disappear from the house if you open the door on this magical night.
Be careful not to get caught on the eve of the night in the barn full of fan or sleep in the fan, because you risk getting mentally ill. The bulls speak human voice tonight, to tell about the birth of the Lord, and this must be hidden from the ears and eyes of the people.
Habits for the good walk of life
On Easter Day, it is not good to put your hand on the seam, secure, fork or ax, before sunrise. Otherwise, you will want to work on them and it will not be good for you.
When you first go out in the yard, it is good to gather a few furrows, and then spread them around the house, saying some verses in which you talk about health and wealth. Another habit is related to putting a few nuts in the dishwasher. That way, you'll be healthy all year. In other houses put a horse in the trunk with water from which the cattle adapt, to be all healthy and strong as iron.
If you want to be lucky in the coming year, try to stay black on Christmas Eve. Envy, anger, strife and strokes are not allowed on this day. Faith says that whatever you do, good or bad, will rub on you: if you hit your fist, you will get back as many punches as you gave.
Habits that protect you from pain and pain
So that the birds do not spoil your springtime sowing in the garden, it is good to wake up before sunrise and throw grains to the birds in the yard.
Mature then the whole house, and the ladies will stay away all year from your household.
Collect all the garbage from the house and the ash from the hearth, before eating. Store them in bags until spring, when the layers are done in the garden. Sprinkle ash mixed with garbage over layers to protect the crops from pests. In the country, the women who hold this tradition are accustomed to saying the following incantation, while sprinkling the ashes: "As I have not eaten the mornings of the Eve, so they do not eat any fruit."
Another faith says that eating fish on Christmas Eve will protect you from cold all year. The children who eat the baked pumpkin on Christmas Eve will be healthy too.
Habits related to field work
In some homes, housewives grease their breads or tarts with a mixture of flour and water, before putting them in the oven, so as not to crack. What remains of this mixture is used for oiling the garden tree. Thus, the trees will be loaded with fruit, just as the Easter meal is loaded with food.
After the meal, the men go to the garden with the ax or the ax and cut the trees that do not bear fruit. Women, with hands full of dough, run after them to ask them to grow trees. The ritual is repeated three times, with the belief that the trees will become frightened and bear fruit in the spring.
If you have cattle and you enter a man in the house on Christmas Eve or Boboteze, the cows will face the calves. On the contrary, if you pass the threshold a woman, then all the cows will look calf.
If you want to know you are the bear, put all the food in a saucepan, on the porch, under the window, without tasting the dishes. Faith says that night comes your beard, taste of your food and then you can see it on the window.
On Halloween, cut an apple, and you will find out what your fate is in that year. If the apple is greedy, then you will be sick all year, but if it is rotten, then you are in danger of death.
Magical habits are deeply rooted in folk tradition and have their origins in times that no one remembers. Older people in the country believe, for example, that the dough kneaded on Christmas night is good for cattle.
The stonemasons, or those who bind the stone, are accustomed to holding a black fast on Christmas Eve. As long as they are at work, on the farm, their table is "tarina" (the land). Before they get to bed at night, they sit on their knees and perform a magic ritual of stone binding. The stone is invoked three times, while the stones tie knots on a thread of hemp forgotten on the ogre. These magic knots will be used to spell the stone on the pasture.
The urist's ritual is held by the girls who fasted at noon. They sit at the table in the evening, take only a piece, but do not swallow it, stock it in their mouth and put it in their arms. When they go to bed and lower their arms, they beat three mums on the arm and utter a delight, hoping they will dream of their bear:
"Brau, my broiler,
Show me my stepfather
What God gave him,
In order to dream it,
I had to see him ”.
What other Easter traditions and customs do you know?
Tags Traditions christmas Christmas Eve