2016 is already gone, just like a blink of  an eye, in a common night, when the clock beaten 12:00 a new year came. And, yesterday, while my mother was asking me if I received any New Year’s singers I fell in the melancholia of time passing by, thinking about the time I was a kid and  when the last 1 week of the year was the best week ever.

In Romania, in my hometown and in some other regions of the country (not everywhere, in Bucharest you will not see this), there are 3 major days when children are dressing up nicely and go, as the night starts falling, into the town in order to announce the 3 important events: birth of Jesus, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day.

Birth of Jesus: As you expected this is happening on 24th of December. Around 5 pm the bell will ring and in front of the door children will ask if you receive them with the carol. These songs are learned since kindergarten and usually around age of 12-14 you are not singing them anymore, maybe only inside the house. My favorite song is “Flowers of White”, which is the first carol I remember since I was a kid and in the next video there’s a version of it singed by a group of children from Maramures.

New Year’s Eve: This was my favorite tradition. If on Christmas Eve people were not home so often, on New Year’s for sure there were a lot of people home and opening the door. This meant more money to spend in the small attraction park placed only during holidays in the main park of the city. I don’t know how to call it in English, we are saying that we are going to make wishes for people. There are some songs you learn again since school and you have a metal bell to accompany your singing. Beside the usual songs, some youngsters are getting together and form a group of disguised people. Or they are animals (bear, goat) or they dress in police man, bride and other stereotypes. They form a play and, usually, they describe their story using vulgar words, so when I was a kid I was frightened by them. The word in town was that they are steeling money from the small kids so I used to be really scared when I was passing near them. But, in the same time, I always wanted to grow up to be part of this kind of band – never happened. If the normal songs are interpreted by children with age between 6 and 14, the bands are formed, usually, by grown children with age between 18 and 22. Below a video from a village next to my hometown, with the different traditions still celebrated on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Day: I don’t even know if this is still celebrated. The fact is that on 1st of January at 7 in the morning you knock powerfully on the door and you sing wishes for the new year, throwing rice in the hall. It was the bad thing ever, because at 7 in the morning almost no one is up, we used to wake up everybody and rarely they were happy for this. The tradition is called “sorcova” and in some regions you have a colorful stick to make your wishes with. The stories are saying that you should always open your door for this unique song, which will bring you a healthy and prosperous new year.

 

And now, that we are finally here, Happy New Year! I don’t know when time passed, but it is clear it was quick and here we are, on the first day of 2017, some of us with hangovers, maybe with nostalgia or simply happy and peaceful. Anyway, I hope you will make from these days a time to remember!

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