Halloween in Romania – 3 fascinating traditions


Halloween is one of the most loved holidays that exist. And why wouldn’t it be? It is the only night of the year when you can dress up as your favourite character (even if normally you would not have the guts to wear something like that), you can go trick or treating and receive candies from strangers. Sounds pretty awesome, right?

But have you ever thought hmm how are other countries celebrating this holiday?

The Romanian church condones Halloween because it is linked with the devil, you worship the devil on this pagan day. Of course, people still go to costumes parties (children and adults as well), but there is no trick or treating. (Although there is a nice neighbourhood from my city that gives candies to trick-or-treaters).

But why should we celebrate the western Halloween when we have a similar day when we should be aware of vampires?


Saint Andrew’s day

Many, many years ago Saint Andrew arrived in Dobruja where he began to Christianise the population. Now he is the patron saint of the country and is celebrated on the last day of November. That means that people do not go to school or work (and the next day is the Romanian National Day when, again, people do not go to school or work).


Leaving the superstitions that only few people still respect, on this day people named after Saint Andrew (Andrei, Andreea, and the derivates) celebrate their name day and offer to their friends candies. I still remember before this day was declared a public holiday when all the Andrei and Andreea from my classroom (seven) started giving candies to the other classmates. As you can guess, almost half of the class was lost in this way. And the teachers could not stop us.

But this day has some traditions that are starting to be forgotten by the teens and urban population. Here are some of them:


Be aware of the vampires

We all heard the myth that vampires cannot eat garlic. And laughed. It is pretty funny to think that an undead creature could not eat garlic bread.

Halloween in Romania

This myth has its roots in a Romanian tradition that on the night before the 30th of November you must put garlic on the windows, doors, and inside the animal stables for protection. According to legend, the veil between our world and an unholy world is thinner and vampires walk among us, wolves can speak (and if they bite you, then you will become a werewolf). In some villages the old people still put garlic for protection.

Find your soulmate


There are many days in which a girl can dream her future husband. This is one of them.

But if you really want to find your beloved, then you must put basil under your pillow and hope to dream his face.

Or if you run out of basil, you can try another method. Light two candles and place them near a mirror and hope to catch a glimpse of his face.


Predict the future

Halloween in Romania

This is one of the traditions that it is more followed by even the urban population.

On this night plant wheat seeds and take care of your little crop until New Year’s Eve. You can predict how the following year would look like.

Some elders can also predict the following year according to the weather: if the next year would have a drought; if it would be rich in crops. I’m just trying to remember how the sky looked in 2019, I mean what are the signs of a pandemic?


Even if the western and Romanian Halloween have a lot of differences in the way they are celebrated, one thing they still have in common: it is a night on which we should be aware of the creatures of the night. It just happens that in Romania the candies are less important.


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