These are all things you’re likely to find in every article or presentation about Transylvania. But one topic which is not so commonly addressed is that of superstitions.
Spring superstitions in Transylvania are deeply entangled in the popular culture, history, and traditions in Romania. And we think they represent an exciting, different way to learn more about this part of the world.
So, keep on reading.
1. Tying a Trinket to a Tree Brings Wealth and Good Luck
Every year, On March 1st, Romanians celebrate Mărțișor, which marks the arrival of spring (we’ve covered this topic in-depth in a previous article). As part of the celebration, Romanians wear a trinket – which has a red and white string attached – on their clothes or around the neck.
One superstition says that tying the trinket to the branch of a strong tree which makes fruits will bring prosperity and good fortune to the person who tied it. Also, any wish made while tying the trinket to the tree will come true.
In the villages of Transylvania, some people will also tie the white and red string to doors, windows, as well as the horns of domestic animals. It’s believed that this will help keep evil at bay.
2. The Weather on a Day You Pick Predicts Your Future
In Romania, the arrival of spring is often associated with the famous myth of Old Dochia.
The details of the story vary from region to region, but the essence of it is pretty much the same.
According to the myth, old lady Dochia hurried to take her sheep up in the mountains at first sight of spring. When she started her journey, she had nine coats on. Each day, the weather got warmer. So, each day, she took one layer of clothing off.
On day 9, when she reached the top of the mountain, she only had a blouse on.
Legend says; a cold wind started to blow, proving that winter had yet not passed, and Baba Dochia and her sheep froze and turned to stone.
The rock formations ‘Babele’ from Bucegi Mountains (southern part of the Carpathians) are linked to this story as well.
The first nine days of March are considered to be Baba Dochia’s days. People choose a day between the 1st and 9th of March, and the weather that day is believed to dictate how the rest of the year will turn out.
If the weather is nice, warm, and sunny that day, the rest of the year will be full of accomplishments and joy. If the day is rainy, cloudy, or snowy, then you’ll be grumpy and grouchy on most days of the year.
3. Listening to a Cuckoo Sing Brings Prosperity
This is yet another one of the spring superstitions in Transylvania which have managed to endure the test of time.
Cuckoo’s Day – best known as Annunciation Day (Buna Vestire) – is celebrated on March 25th every year. The day marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to let her know her that she would give birth to Jesus Christ.
One of the superstitions says that people who argue on this day will get into trouble all year long. On the flip side, those who have the fortune to hear a cuckoo sing will be prosperous and joyful.
Another superstition is that counting how many times the bird sings lets you know how many years you’ll live.
4. Farmers Who Work the Land on May 21st Will Lose Their Crops
Orthodox Christians celebrate Saints Constantine and Helene every year on May 21st. It is an important event, as the two emperors are widely-regarded as protectors of the Christians.
A few superstitions linked to this day are:
- Farmworkers who don’t rest are likely to have their crops damaged by birds;
- Corn, oats, or millet which were planted past this day will dry out;
- Vine growers think that if they work in their vineyards on May 21st, starlings will eat the harvest.
Discover More Spring Superstitions in Transylvania
If you enjoyed learning about these spring superstitions in Transylvania, just think about how much fun you’ll have if you come here and get a chance to experience them in person.
In case we’ve opened up your appetite for traveling, go ahead and check out our 2-days Transylvania Tour.