Archive for the ‘“After-Christmas” customs’ Category

Happy Befana! / Buona Befana!

January 19, 2011

Classe 2^B – Scuola Primaria “A. Ciancia” – Francavilla in Sinni (PZ) – Italia


The Befana’s legend / La leggenda della Befana

January 15, 2010
In our tradition there is a legend about the Befana . It tells that the three Kings, coming from the East and on the way to adore Baby Jesus, lost the way and asked  an old lady to get them to the holy Infant to bring Him their presents. She refused to accompany them , then repent, prepared a basket of sweets for Baby Jesus, and run outside to reach the Kings but didn’t find them.Therefore she stopped in each house on her way and left a sweet for each child hoping to find Baby Jesus. From then, every year, she goes around the world bringing sweets and presents to all the children to have forgiveness for her fault.
Nella nostra tradizione c’è una leggenda sulla Befana. Racconta che i tre Re Magi, arrivando dall’Oriente diretti ad adorare Gesù Bambino, persero la strada e chiesero ad una vecchia di portarli dal Santo Bambino per offrirgli i loro doni. Ella rifiutò di accompagnarli , poi si pentì, preparò un cesto di dolciumi per Gesù Bambino e corse fuori per raggiungere i Re Magi ma non li trovò. Allora si fermò in ogni casa sulla sua strada e lasciò un dolce per ogni bambino sperando di trovare il piccolo Gesù. Da allora, ogni anno, gira per il mondo portando dolci e regali a tutti i bambini per farsi perdonare la sua mancanza.
Here’s how our children represented the legend / Ecco come i nostri bambini hanno rappresentato la leggenda:
Classe 1^B – Scuola Primaria “A. Ciancia” – Francavilla in Sinni (PZ) – Italia

Hurray! Hurray For the Befana! / Viva viva la Befana!

January 11, 2010
Ciao Amici! Ogni anno, il 6 Gennaio, noi aspettiamo la Befana. E’ una gentile e simpatica vecchietta che scende giù dal camino e lascia dolci e regali ai bambini buoni e pezzi di carbone a quelli cattivi.
Hello friends! Every year , on the 6th of January, we wait for the Befana. She is a kind and nice old lady who comes down the chimney and leaves sweets and presents to good boys and pieces of coal to the bad ones.
Ecco cosa abbiamo ricevuto quest’anno / Here is what we had this year:

Classe 1^B – Scuola primaria “A. Ciancia” – Francavilla in Sinni (PZ)-Italia

The Bear – Ancient New Year Tradition in Romania

January 3, 2010

Here’s the ancient tradition called “The Bear” performed by some of our 6th and 7th graders.

Xmas in Abruzzo, Italy

December 11, 2008

In Italy especially in our region, Abruzzo, Christmas traditions start on the eightht December.So, decorations of Christmas tree, preparation of nativity and decoration of  houses, streets, shopping centers, churches and squares are all done starting from this date.

Another tradition is the making of traditional sweets, which grandmothers cook by themselves.

The parrozzomost popular Xmas sweet in our  area is called  Parrozzo, a chocolate coated cake prepared with almonds and eggs;







On Christmas Eve we usually go to church for Christmas Holy Mass, then we share presents once back home.

Die Heiligen Drei Könige (Wise Men)

January 12, 2008


Die Heiligen Drei Könige (The Wise Men)

 In all German speaking countries Christmas celebration does not end until 6th January.From 1st January until 6th January many kids from the Katholische Jungschar  (children meet at parsonage and sing, play and have a good time together) are engaged as Epiphany carol singers. Three children are dressed as wise men and one child carries the star. They go from house to house, flat to flat and sing carols and ask for a donation for one of the charity projects run by the church. On every door thy write in chalk their initials plus the year   20  C+ M + B  08

This should protect house and home.

written by Lisa

New Year’s Day Wellington Race

January 11, 2008

wellie1.jpg wellies.jpg

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Castlecomer Wellington Race one of the most unusual events in Ireland on the New Year’s calendar. This is the only officially run race where footwear companies of Reebok, Nike and Adidas don’t get a look in. The humble”Wellington boot”gets the place of honour on New Year’s Day in Castlecomer County Kilkenny, Ireland. Since 1981 the race has given great entertainment to thousands of people and raised thousands of euros for local charities. The race itself is a 6km-road race run over a hilly circuit. Many of the runners turn out in fancy dress and it is a great fun day for families. Participants must run in standard wellington boots. The race is preceded by a magnificent and most unusual fancy dress parade. Thousands of people turn out to see the crack.

January 6, 2008


6 January in RomaniaBoboteaza or Teofania (The Epiphany)

In Romania, on the 6 January, the Christians celebrate the Epiphany or The Manifestation of God. In Romanian, it is called Boboteaza or Teofania.

In our region (Bucovina—i.e. north-eastern Romania), people gather in front of the church where a cross of ice is placed. A tub is filled with water and put in front of the ice cross and during the religious service the water is blessed. We call this blessed water agheasma. After the service, during which the church and the participants in the ceremony are sprinkled with agheasma, believers also take blessed water and bring it home in order to sprinkle every room of their house with it.

They say that blessed water has special powers as it was blessed on the day when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. The blessed water brings healing, forgiveness, keeps the homes safe from fire and from the evil spirits.

On the Eve of Epiphany, the priest visits his parishioners holding a cross and a basil branch to bless their homes with the Holy Water. It is customary to give a small donation to the priest on this occasion, donation which will be used for the church. The priest is announced to each parishioner’s house by small groups of children who shout Chiraleisa, Chiraleisa, Chiraleisa (always three times Chiraleisa). The word Chiraleisa comes from the Greek Kyrie Eleison and means Lord, have mercy!.

The field basil (busuioc in Romanian) has a special meaning on this day, as the branches and bunches of basil are used in order to sprinkle the Holy Water on people, walls and furniture. There is also a superstition which says that if, on the Eve of St. Andrew’s day, a single girl takes a small branch of the busuioc which has been used during the blessing of the house in January and places it under the pillow before going to bed, she will dream of the man who will be her husband.

cruce-de-gheata-400.jpg Ice cross

Liliana&the kids

The Festival of the Winter Traditions and Customs at Vatra Dornei

January 6, 2008

Hello and Happy New Year everybody!

My name is Renata and I will tell you a few words about a festival which our 7th and 8th form pupils from Comanesti School have participated in on the 29th of December. It is called The Festival of the Winter Traditions and Customs and it was at the 10th edition.

It is actually a parade as people and artistic groups from this part of the country have performed in the streets.

Here are a few photos:




Traditional dances

Best wishes,

Renata (7th form)

Semanatul and Sorcova

January 6, 2008

Semanatul and Sorcova are performed only by children on the 1 January, early in the morning. A sorcova is a bouquet made up of tree twigs, which is used to touch (lightly) the people who receive the children with Sorcova.

Semanatul is similar but children don’t carry the sorcova with them; they fill their pockets with grains of wheat and sprinkle them on people while saying:

Sorcova, vesela,

Sã trãiti, sã-mbãtrâniti,

Ca un mãr, ca un pãr,

Ca un fir de trandafir,

Tare ca piatra,

Iute ca sãgeata,

Tare ca fierul,

Iute ca otelul,

La anu’ si la multi ani !

The translation would be:

Merry Sorcova,

May you live long and grow old

As an apple tree, as a pear

As a rose bush fair

May you be strong as a granite rock

Quick as an arrow

Hard as an iron bar

Tougher than steel by far.

A New Year with happiness!

This is a photo of the pupils at Humoreni School performing Sorcova. They are dressed up in our traditional costumes.


Liliana&the kids