Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

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

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation January 15, 2009

Filed under: events — ligregni @ 5:32 pm

Jerzy Owsiak, it was his idea to start the charity concerts in 1993


It is about 10th January every year. People raise money for ill children and public hospitals. GOCCF organizes many events in different cities in Poland like concerts and auctions. The event was started by Jerzy Owsiak (above) in 1993.

Young people raise money on the street and at school. Everyone who gives some money gets a sticker in the form of a red heart (like in the photo). Red heart is the symbol of GOCCF. Most people give small amounts of money but GOCCF rises a lot of money to help children every year.

by Aleksandra (1st year)

Gimnazjum nr 18, Gdańsk


The Epiphany January 11, 2009

Filed under: Old traditions,Religious traditions — ivasil @ 11:00 pm

The 6-th of January is the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptizing of Christ (Boboteaza). It’s the day that ends the winter holidays that have started on Christmas Eve. On this day we recall the moment when Jesus Christ was christened in he water of Jordan.boboteaza-1
There are many beliefs and traditions about this day. For example, the Romanians hope this will be a very frosty day (and it actually is, inexplicably often), as they say that the frost and the snow  bring good luck and welfare for the whole year and for everyone.

By far, the most important tradition connected to this day is “The Blessing of the Water”, that takes place in different forms near a river, or even near a public fountain. A large number of  believers attend to this ceremony, despite the frost. If the water is frozen, people cut an ice-hole, bring a table and make an ice cross while the priest celebrates the Mass. After this, young girls and boys wearing national costumes take icons, flags and candles fom the church and go to the water, followed by priests and everybody else. They all form half a circle around the table. The priest dips the cross three times into the water and blesses the water, turning it into holy water. In some regions he then throws the cross into the river and young boys jump in and recover it. Of course it is a great honour to be the one that did it. At the end of the prayer, everybody takes home some holy water, that is said to bring good luck, cure illnesses and never go bad, no matter how long you keep it.

In the North region  there is another tradition that Liliana and her kids might know more about, since it should also exist in their area. After the Blessing, young girls and boys go on a hill and start a big fire. They all sing and dance around it in a circle. As the fire slows down, they start to jump over it and through the smoke making wishes for good luck and good health. The two elements (water and fire) are thought to help each other’s purifying strength.
All these traditions were initially conceived as ways to fight bad spirits that come on Earth as a new year begins. For us they are a symbol of the solidarity of people in our community and a melancholic sign that the winter holidays (with their smell of cinnamon and sponge cake)boboteaza-2 are coming to an end.

The kids from 6C, School 92 Bucharest


Happy New Year! January 1, 2009

Filed under: events,New Year — LL @ 10:06 pm

We would like to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR on this very first day of 2009!

AN NOU FERICIT! (Romanian)

Chestita Nova Godina! (Bulgarian)

Onnellista Uutta Vuotta! (Finninsh)

Prosit Neujahr! (German)

Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit! (Irish)

Felice anno nuovo! (Italian)

Szczesliwego Nowego Roku! (Polish)

Laimingu Naujuju Metu! (Lithuanian)

Feliz Ano ~Nuevo! (Spanish)

Liliana&the kids