Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

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

Halloween celebrated in our school November 5, 2008

Here are some photos from our Halloween party at school. Halloween is not part of our tradition, but lots of young people celebrate it. It is more an opportunity to go out with their friends and do something different from their day-to-day life.

Pumpkins, costumes and lots of fun:

Apple bobbing:

Liliana&the kids


Treat or Trick! October 31, 2008

Filed under: Halloween,Old traditions — ivasil @ 2:29 pm
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Here are some photos from he Halloween in our school. As I have already told you, this is not a Romanian holiday, but it’s a nice opportunity to have fun: pupils dress up, have contests, play games. The kids you see are from the 6C and the 7A grades. Obviously, they had a great time!


The “Merry Cemetery” in Sapanta October 16, 2008

This is a remote spot, in the Northern part of our country, but it’s such a peculiar and famous one we felt you ought to know about it. Sapanta is the most well-known place in Maramures. This small village near the town of Sighetul Marmatiei amuses its visitors with the “Merry Cemetery”. People from foreign counties come to see this unique place.
This is a real cemetery, but unlike any other, it bursts with color and the tombstones are written all over with witty poems, some of them quite funny, depicting the life of the one that is buried there.
Most of these naive “works of art” are painted with scenes from the life and work of the dead, or show their weaknesses. Ion liked to drink, so he is pictured with a bottle. George played the violin at weddings, so he still holds it. All the tombstones are cut in wood by the same local carver, who follows the tradition established by his father.
Just an optimistic way to see death: as a natural part of our life.


Traditions Festival-2008 September 11, 2008

Filed under: Festivals and fairs — ivasil @ 3:13 pm
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Here are some photos from the Traditions Festival that takes place every year in the Cismigiu Garden. The distinctive aspect, compared to the last year’s edition, was the increased number of craftsmen and -what made me glad-the children. Take a look at the beautiful girls in the first photo: they are from the Northern part of the country and were quite used to be little stars.

I hope you enjoy the Festival!

Irina Vasilescu, School no 92, Bucharest, Romania


The Bread Market August 18, 2008

Filed under: Festivals and fairs,Traditional recipes — ivasil @ 6:15 pm
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There is a Bread Market every year in a park near us. Besides many types of bread, some of them used in religious observances,

sweets, ways of making the bread (I’ll show you one), agricultural tools etc, one can see, hear and taste many other things. We had some good wine, cheese, pies and watched bread being made and people dance, they are always eager to.
For example, these are some traditional cakes made in Transylvania. They are baked over hot embers, the dough rolled on these props.

Then they are sprinkled with grounded nuts, sugar, sesame, peanuts or coconut and eaten hot. Delicious!

This was a stand with many kinds of cheese. See the man’s hat, so small and funny, seeming to belong to someone else? It’s the typical hat of shepherds in the Sibiu area, an area famous for its dairy products. The brown cylindrical thing on the table in front of the woman is cheese in fir-tree bark. Its an old kneaded cheese, absolutely delicious. And there’s polenta boiling in the big black cast-iron kettle. You’ll see later what it will be turned into.

Just one of the stands with bread, buns and cakes.

This was a nice stand,with objects made of the leaves covering the corn cob (couldn’t find the English word): little baskets, bells, dolls, boxes. Can you see the witch on its broom hanging on the right side? By the way, a little boy was asking:”So, the corn is made of wheat, right?”. City kids!

This old woman was at a clothes stand, but I liked her even more than the clothes. Look at her beautiful blouse and her peaceful smile.

Remember the polenta that was boiling a minute ago? After it’s ready, it’s overturned, cut into pieces with a thread and the pieces are filled with cheese. For a better result, they can be grilled or baked, sprinkled with butter. It’s called “bulz” and it’s a shepherds’ dish. Yummy.

This is one of the gingerbread stands. I like gingerbread, do you?

Some old agricultural tools, most of them for threshing.

Ornaments made of knitted cord. Some are quite nice.

Strange musical instruments.

I hope you enjoyed the visit to the Bread Market. One more thing I want to show you: making bread.
This is the story of bread making. It’s not baked in a stove, but under a kind of griddle made of clay, called “test”. There are traditions connected to this griddle, mainly based on the idea of stability. For example, in Oltenia, as the new bride enters her new home, she must sit on this griddle, so she’ll stay forever in that house.
The griddles are placed upon fire until they are very hot.

Then the ashes are swept away with a broom made of fir-tree branches.
Meanwhile, the dough is kept in a warm place to leaven. Look at the baker, he carefully supervises it, but he does not uncover it . It would get cold and be ruined.

The dough is now ready.

Before being baked.

The bread should have stayed on fresh acacia leaves under the griddle. They probably had no leaves.

It’s ready!

And hot!

Each of us got a piece. It was tasty, nicely flavoured, just a bit too firm. Would you like some?

Irina, School no. 92, Bucharest


June 1st May 31, 2008

Filed under: 1 June — ivasil @ 7:20 pm
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Tomorrow is June 1st, the International Children’s Day. We celebrate it here in our families, schools and the local authorities organize events for kids.

As teachers, every day is Children’s Day for us, as they are our raw material and our final product, and our live revolves around them day-by-day.

May they be healthy, happy and good! Although one of our proverbs says:”There’s no such thing as a wise child and a pretty old woman.” (“Nu exista copil cuminte si baba frumoasa”).

Happy Children’s Day to you and your pupils!


The Spring of Healing May 4, 2008

On Friday, during the White Week (the week after the Resurrection), the Orthodox Church celebrates the Spring of Healing, a great feast which goes back to the second half of the first Christian millennium.

A short time before becoming emperor, Leon the Great was walking in a forest near Constantinoples. At a moment he met a blind beggar who asked him for some water. Leon looked for water in the thicket, but he did not find any. While he was returning, he heard the voice of the Holy Virgin Mary who told him: “Don’t take so much trouble for the water is nearby.” Leon got into the thicket, took some muddy water in his hands and gave it to the blind man, then sprinkled some on the latter’s eyes and –miracle: the blind man could see again!

After he had become emperor Leon had a church built near that spring which got the patron of healing.

In all the churches and monasteries, after the Mass, the water is sanctified in a ceremony proper for the White Weeek. Many people gather to take this water which is considered to have healing properties.

Irina and pupils from School 92, Bucharest