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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Happy Easter Everyone!

Dear friends,

I have always loved Easter as it was the most celebrated tradition in Romania - not surprisingly, the same is in Poland so this is one more thing these 2 dear nations have in common. Ever since I was a little girl I loved celebrating Easter. The whole house was cleaned top to bottom and I would hang around the kitchen with Granny and Mum doing food and me helping around. We would do the traditional painted easter eggs and then sweets like cozonac and pasca. The eggs are painted starting with Thursday - sometimes we would even be so bold as to leave them for Friday morning. At the beginning the only accepted color was red but in time other colors appeard as well - yellow, green, blue and even black sometimes! We would paint them with the help of plants and you could even attach a clover to them and put them in a transparent stocking, tie them up, and at the end you would have a red egg with a clover figure on it! :)
We have a really nice tradition when it comes to decorating eggs - in Romanian we call them “oua incondeiate”, “oua impiestrite”, “oua inchiestrite”. With special instruments you get to decorate them. There are thin and round sticks with an ending made out of small cotton pieces. You soak it in melted wax and you make contact with the surface of the egg when small dots appear. The most known and used motifs for the decorated eggs are: the lost path (on which the souls of the dead walk toward the judgement), the cross, the fir or oak leaf.
As I told you, my family would ALWAYS bake pasca and cozonac. Pasca is a special Easter cake, usually made in a round or rectangular shape (shape of the grave). It can be simple or it can have dough braids. Usually these are the ingredients for it: pot cheese, egg yolk, raisins and sometimes sugar and cinnamon. My Granny makes the most perfect pasca in the whole world! I have tried many reciepes from friends and family alike but I never ate such a good one as hers. She also does variations on it, according to what we like. My sister loves chocolate so she always bakes these choco-pasca that simply melts in your mouth. But that is my sisters fav, mine is the cream-cheese-pasca with raisins! There is not so much dough as there is fill... there is a small coating so it would not get burned :) but the inside is just mouth-watering when I think of it! The cozonac - by the way you can see the eggs, pasca and cozonac in the below picture ;) - is also a delicious sweet thing to do, very traditional for us. Made with loads of eggs, cocoa, smashed nuts and proper home-made sweet dough. It tastes heavenly especially when you eat it with fresh yogurt and the cozonac is right out of the oven!
I would always go with my grandparents and my mum and my sister to church on Saturday for "the light". At midnight we would have to be there in order to light our candles and it was always a fight and a strugle to keep the light until we reached home - yes, that was a tradition as well, as the light from Easter should be kept over the night. We would sing along with the choir and the priests and the dozen of other people gathered at church the traditional Easter song called "Hristos A Inviat!" ("Christ Has Risen!") and from that moment on, till the moment of the Rise To Heaven, we would greet eachother with the traditional "Hristos A Inviat!" ("Christ Has Risen!")/ "Adevarat A Inviat!" ("Truly He Has Risen!"). We would fast the whole day and then when we would get home after the ceremony we would break eggs and eat the traditional lamb with herbs - having an awesome end of the meal with pasca and cozonac, of course!
We would rise up early in the morning and Granny or Mum would place in a big cup water and a red egg and a clean coin and I would wash my face with the water. Why?! Well... tradition :) It was said that your cheeks will be as red as the egg placed in the cup and you will be having a lot of money - after that, you would get the egg to eat and the coin to keep :) I love this tradition and I have always did it - and I ain't gonna stop! We would fight - my sister and I - over whom would win in cracking eggs... If mine would break or hers, and we would laugh away and enjoy being with our family, being home... the best place you can celebrate Easter is HOME! :)

Have a Happy Easter everyone! May you have a merry day and spend it with family :)

Yours truly,
The LadyBug :)