winter holidays in Moldova

Moldavian traditions. Saint Andrew’s Day

On December 13 we celebrate St. Andrew’s Day. It is a Moldavian Halloween.

It is believed that on the night between 12th and 13th the evil spirits appear among the people and that the wolves speak human language (St. Andrew was believed to be the master of the wild animals).

In order to keep the evil spirits away from their houses the people anoint the door frames with garlic.

On this day 12 onions are taken to the attic and are left there until Christmas (January 7). Each onion corresponds to one month of the year. The onions that are found altered symbolize rainy months, but those onions that stayed fresh symbolize favorable months for harvest.

There is a multitude of rituals practiced by the unmarried girls during that night, as only on this magic night they can find out the name of their future husband or they can even see him. Here are 2 of those rituals:

  • The girl places 41 wheat grains under her pillow. If she dreams that a man is taking those grains from her it means that this is her future husband.
  • The girl throws a shoe over her shoulder. If the shoe lands pointing to the door it means that the girl will soon get married and leave her parents’ house.

Meanwhile during this night the young men steel and hide the gates from those houses where the unmarried girls live. This specific tradition for Moldova has always been a reason for young people to have fun.

Do not hesitate to find out more about the Moldavian winter traditions!

Welcome to Moldova!

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