October customs and traditions in Romania

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The month of October also known as ‘Brumarel‘ in the folk tradition, as the hoarfrost begins now, announces the coming of the cold season, with most of the works in that period consisting especially in preparations for the winter. If the leaves of the trees get yellow and fall early, this means the next year will be prosperous. If it rains considerably in October, December will be windy and if there’s much hoarfrost or even snow, the weather in January will be fine.

In ancient times, the first day of October used to be dedicated to an almost unknown saint: Saint Procoava, who gives gorgeous and soft hair to young unmarried girls. Therefore, Procoavelor Feast is also known as the Hair’s Celebration. They believe God sanctified Procoava among the first ones, giving him the task of covering the earth with a first layer of snow.

According to traditional belief, virgins who lacked hair devoutly worshiped this very day so they’ll have gorgeous hair, thus becoming more pleasant to young men that hardly paid any attention to them. Young girls used to think thereby their destined will come sooner and they will get married.

According to meteorologists quoted by Adevarul daily, the first snow on October in our country was registered on October 15, 1970 and the first layer of snow on October 26, 1988. October is the month when peasants are mainly looking out for their households. They gather fruits, corn, potatoes, turnips, and they replant strawberries are raspberries. It is also the perfect month when they are plowing and sowing for autumn or cleaning trees and gardens. Tradition say if quince and walnut harvest is rich there will be a harsh winter.

For Orthodox Christians celebrating October abounds in important customs. The first and most important is the feast of St. Pious Parascheva (Sfanta Cuvioasa Parascheva), celebrated on 14 October. Tradition says that if until now it didn’t rain, winter will come soon. Also on this day fairs take place in order to turn sheep products to profit.

Saint Dumitru, also known as “Samedru”, is celebrated on the 26th of October. As St. Gheorghe takes care that on his day the land is green, so does St. Dumitru, who sees to make the soil black, without any grass. When St. Dumitru is riding his horse around the world, the leaves are falling and the winter comes. He is also known as the shepherd’s protector.

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