The government on Wednesday approved another temporary day off for Romanians, namely on December 2nd, a day which links the National Day celebration of December 1st to the weekend.
The day off on December 2nd will be fetched up by extending the working hours until December 16th or by working on December 17, which is on a Saturday.
So, many Romanians will enjoy an extended vacation starting Wednesday, November 30, when we celebrate Romania’s patron saint, Saint Andrew until Sunday, December 4.
Usually, the extended holiday mainly target the state employees. However, private companies are also compelled to observe the legal national holidays. If they cannot close down the company on the days declared off by the Gov’t, they must allow employees to take days off some other time.
The Feast of St Andrew, also called St Andrew’s Day (Ziua Sfântului Andrei) is an annual public holiday in Romania on November 30 to honor the country’s patron saint.
Locals have the day off work and school on St Andrew’s Day, so banks, public offices, and many private businesses are closed.
There are various activities related to Romanian superstition associated with the feast of Saint Andrew. For example, some Romanians bringing out garlic to ward off ghosts, while others eat a special type of salty bread in hope of dreaming of the person they will marry. Garlic is used as a form of protection on St Andrew’s Day as it is believed that souls of the dead come back in the evening of November 30.
St Andrew, the brother of St Peter, was the first apostle called by Jesus but he is known today as the patron saint of countries such as Romania, Russia, and Scotland. He went to Greece and after converting the proconsul’s wife to Christianity, he was crucified by being fastened to an X-shaped cross by cords, where he died of thirst and starvation.
December 1st marks Romania’s National Day or Great Union Day, marking the unification of Romanian provinces. It is also a day off, with people celebrating it by military parades and public speeches delivered by national leaders in Bucharest and Alba Iulia, with the latter being considered the Union City, where the country’s unification and the formation of the Romanian state within its present-day boundaries occurred in 1918.
Romania’s full independence had been recognized in 1878 but it was not until December 1, 1918 in the city of Alba Iulia, when Romania – made of Moldova and Wallachia at the time – was united with Transylvania, Crisana, Banat and the Maramures area. National Day has been celebrated in Romania since 1990, after the fall of the Romanian Communist Party.