Every year, on the 23rd of April, Romanian people celebrate Sfantul Gheorghe or St. George Day. He is one of the most important saints in the Orthodox calendar.
In our region—Bucovina—people who live in villages cut small square pieces of fresh ground, stick willow branches into it and put them at the entrance. They are thought to be a spring symbol.
Few people know the meaning of this tradition. Not even the old ones can say why they do that, but they think it is the right thing to do on St. George Day. Some say that this tradition is not a Christian one and it would not be surprising because lots of pagan elements here have been incorporated into the Christian faith.
According to the Christian tradition, St. George was born in nowadays Turkey, in Cappadocia, to a Christian family. When Emperor Diocletian began his persecution of the Church, he was arrested and suffered great torture for boldly confessing belief in Jesus Christ. He was beheaded in 303 A.D.
Popular tradition associates St. George with the killing of the dragon. That is why in many Orthodox icons he is pictured on a horse cutting off the head of a dragon.
Lots of men in Romania bear the name Gheorghe as a sign of respect for this saint. Also lots of churches in Romania are named after this saint. He is also the patron saint of the church in Comanesti, our village.
Mia, Adriana, Daniela, Teodor, Stefan and Tavi- Comanesti School