The Holy Week and Romanian superstitions


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The week before Easter, also called the Passion Week, working stops starting Thursday. Superstition says, that he who sleeps in the day on Thursday, will be lazy all year long; especially women will be enchanted by Joim?ri?a and sentenced to be lazy.

Joim?ri?a, which is presented as a kind of justice for idleness, would walk through villages on Holy Thursday to oversee the newly wives and young girls and it will call them to account for the work they haven’t done during winter. Here and there, tradition is preserved and according to a rare ritual, a married woman and extremely hardworking dresses as Joim?ri?a and keeps an eye on house holdings and housing bridges looking for tow.

According to customs and superstitions, women start cleaning houses for Easter on Holy Monday. They remove all out, vent the house to get out all the evils of the winter, they white the house and wash everything. ‘Do not get caught with your house unclean, on Easter Day! That will curse you home!’

They  also say  that on Holly Thursday the dead came back to their old home, where they dwelt until the Saturday before Whit Sunday; formerly this was the day that spinning hemp ended. The living light candles in churches or to the graves of their deceased, praying for the salvation of their souls.

In Maramure?, where it is cold during Easter, villagers even have a tradition that consists of making a large fire in their courtyards to warmly welcome guests to the other world. In other corners of the country, people put chairs in the courtyard for souls to visit and rest to adjust once again to our world.

On Holy Thursday 12 boys and girls bring a rope and each of them ties a node after each gospel read, making a wish and pray for it to fulfill. At the end of the service, they take the string at home and put it under the pillow, from Thursday night to Friday to dream their fate.

On Good Friday one must severely fast, without food or drink (water or wine). They say the one who accomplishes it will be helped by God to get over disease, will have a run of luck all year long, and will be spared of needs or troubles. Also they say if it rains on Good Friday, the next year will be a fruitfully one. The one who dies on Easter Day, will go to heaven and get the absolution.

The Holy Week is a good opportunity for all believers to forgive and reconcile.

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