Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

No Fur Day- 25th November – Poland November 25, 2008

Filed under: 1 — ligregni @ 3:17 pm

It is a day of protests against wearing fur . People organizing the protests every year try to convince Polish society how cruel it is to kill animals just to get their fur. The aim of the action is making such practices illegal.

To join the action it is enough to collect signatures under petitions, give leaflets to people in the street, put posters on the walls or even organize a multimedia presentation at schools. Even Presidents of Polish Universities in a way joined the action, some of them promised to reconsider using artificial fur for their gowns.

Gimnazjum nr 18, Gdańsk, Poland


25th November – Teddy Bear Day (“plush” bear) in Poland

Filed under: New traditions — ligregni @ 2:49 pm

They are soft, nice to touch, have dark eyes made with buttons, glass or plastic, they are favourite children’s toys, but adults like hugging them too. 25th November in Poland is World Teddy Bear Day (światowy Dzień Pluszowego Misia).

The first producer of the famous bears, an American, actually had the idea of the toy after he sa w the picture in which American President, Theodore Roosevelt does not want to shoot a bear cub while he is hunting. Teddy is a diminutive form of Theodore. To celebrate the event, 100 years later the 25th November became World Teddy Bear Day.

In Poland children love to celebrate the day, they bring plush bears to their kindergarden and proudly show them to their friends and teachers and of course play with them. Sometimes they have them dressed up.

Open to the world – keep memories

World Teddy (“plush”) Bear Day

In some museums different exhibitions are organized. In Kielce, e.g. at the Museum of Toys and Play children can admire 135 teddy bears from Poland and other countries. In Poland we have a teddy bear – Miś Uszatek, from an old Polish cartoon film and known by not only children but also their parents and

grandparents. At the museum you can also admire another famous Polish teddy bear saved during Warsaw Uprisal (1944).

In Poland there is a magazine for children called “MIś” (Bear), the year 2007 was announced by the magazine as “Bear’s Year”.

I think it is a very funny day. It is a perfect opportunity to spend time with all the family and play with plush bears.

by Magda

Gimnazjum nr 18, Gdańsk, Poland


St. Andrew’s Day in Romania

Filed under: Old traditions — ivasil @ 1:38 pm


The 30th of November is one of the important Romanian holidays. It is the day we celebrate Saint Andrew (in Romanian his name is Andrei), the apostle who christianised our people and  the protector of our country.
There are many traditions without religious meaning connected to this day, some of them having their origin on the Roman celebrations of Saturn. The Dacian New Year took place from the 14th of November until the 7th of  December, this was the interval when time began its course.
Saint Andrew is seen as an old man, because now the Sun is old and tired  too, it has no power. From the weather this day one can predict if the winter is going to be long and  frosty.
One of the elements that came from the Roman and Thracian celebrations was the one about wolves. Is it only a coincidence that we, the descendants of Dacians, whose flag was shaped as a wolf, have chosen the patron of wolves as our protector? During this night, the wolves are allowed to eat  all the animals they want. It is said that they can speak, too, but anyone that hears them will die soon.
Early on St. Andrew’s day, the mothers go into the garden and pick tree branches, especially  from apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, but also rose -bush branches. They make a  bunch of  branches for each family member. The one whose bunch will bloom by New Years day will be lucky and healthy next year.
On St. Andrew’s night ghosts haunt and harass the people. For protection, one should rub the entrance door with garlic and turn all the dishes upside down. A special party takes place now, called “Guarding the garlic”. Boys and girls gather in a house with the doors and windows rubbed with garlic . They also put garlic (three bulbs for each girl) in a wooden tub that is to be guarded till day-break by an old woman, in a candle-lit  oom. They party all night and in the morning  the wooden tub is taken outside and they dance around it. Then they all take some garlic home as protection against illness or spells.

St. Andrew is the patron of the wolves, being the one who protects the people attacked by these animals. St. Andrew is also celebrated in order that the wolves should stay away from the households or from the travelers. The salt is charmed and buried under the door of the stable. It will be taken out on St. George and given to the cattle, as a protection against the wolves and other evil things.

Nothing is lent on this day, so that the products of the field shouldn’t be stolen. The women aren’t allowed to wash or to comb their hair.

The children put apple, pear or plum branches in the water, so that they would bloom. These will be used on St. Vasile, as a “sorcova”. The girls and boys seed wheat and the one whose wheat grew more will be the luckiest one.
But the best known tradition connected to this night is the one about matrimony and premonitory dreams. Single girls must put under their pillow either a branch of  sweet basil, or , better 41 wheat grains.If someone takes the grains in their dreams, that means the girl will marry soon. They can also plant wheat in a dish and water it until New Year’s day. The nicer the wheat looks that day, the better the year to come.
All these traditions have no religious meaning, but they are preserved in Romanian people’s hearts and they are followed year after year.

Irina and the kids from Shool no 92, Bucharest