Odd Easter customs in Bistrita county

Villages on the Somes and Bargau valleys in Bistrita-Nasaud, Transylvania are preserving special traditions and customs during the Holly Week, such as cleaning the doors’ hinges with garlic, buying new clothes or threatening the nut trees.

No field works are allowed as of Wednesday until Easter, to keep crops away from frost.

The local tradition says that the ash used for the fire made on Wednesday is good for gardening, so villagers living on Bargaului Valley are closely gathering the ash and throw it away over the fresh seedlings.

They also use garlic to grease the doors’ hinges, saying it will keep them away from trouble and nausea.

The tradition has it that on the Black Thursday, the dead would return to their places and would stay here till before the Pentecost, so it’s advisable to lit a candle.

Housewives say that he who sleeps on Thursday before Easter will be lazy all year long.

On the Somes Valley locals believe that he who succeeds in not eating and drinking water from Thursday night till after the Resurrection service will be strong all year long.

On Black Friday, it’s a fast day, when field works are banned and women are not allowed to bake.

In Agris, on Tibles Valley, there is an odd custom: threatening the nut trees. More precisely, villagers go to their gardens with a hatchet to threaten the nut trees. They say <you make nuts or I cut you> three times. People think this way the nut trees will be very fruitful and they will have plenty of nuts to use them for the Easter cakes (cozonaci in Romanian).

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