New Year’s Day, 5,000 Miles Away

Mackenzie Portney

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Cheering as the ball drops. Banging pots and pans. Watching an explosion of fireworks. These are only some of the many American New Year activities. But what about the rest of the world? The nation of Romania has some very unique traditions unknown to those outside of the small but cultured country.

January 1st may mark a fresh start where people can leave their worries of the previous year behind, but in Romania it goes deeper than that. The new year also represents the celebration of Saint Vasile–a bishop who protected the people from evil spirits. The Greeks and Turks too recognize the works of Saint Vasile. It is also said that cold weather on Saint Vasile day will bring a prosperous year.

On New Year’s Eve, before a fresh start and day of celebrating Saint Vasile commences, Romanians practice Plugusorul. They carol for their neighbors a song wishing them health, family, and love for the upcoming year.

Romania is known to ring in the new year with cow whispering and coin tossing.

Tiffany Milosav, daughter of two Romanian immigrants, shared some different new year’s traditions specific to the region of the country from which her parents came. She referenced Sorcova, where youths gather a bouquet of flowers to bring to neighbors. If the neighbors answer the door, the youths will tap the bouquet on the their heads in exchange for money. This represents good luck for the next 365 days. Additionally, Milosav explained, adults practice “Capra” which means goat in Romanian. This interesting tradition is where adults wear goatskin on top of traditional Romanian dress and celebrate the holiday with dance and song.

Before simply falling asleep on the couch right after 12 am this coming new year’s, consider what the Romanian’s did when the clock struck midnight there just seven hours prior.