Information on traditions and folk or Christmas songs in Romanian and western countries

From the dawn of its existence, the Romanian people were born in the Christian faith, and this is also observed in the authentic Christian sentiment expressed in an extremely wide popular form. Romanian folklore is an eminently Christian one, and the carol can be considered a representative species of Romanian spirituality, seen as a kind of "popular Bible". The Romanian peasant has always tried to humanize the image of God, of the Holy Child and of His Mother, whom He presents to Him, along with a blessing of the blessings on the whole creation. The verses of the Romanian carols discover a theological message of an intense spiritual experience, whether it is explicitly stated or not, the whole culture being full of symbols of Christian morality, transmitted from generation to generation.

According to the words of Mircea Eliade, the carols are traditional Romanian songs, with pre-Christian origins, which are sung around Christmas and New Year. These songs contain good wishes, positive words that bring glory to the birth of the Son of God on earth and prepare for a new year, from which better things are expected: better and more fruit, prosperity in the community, health, family harmony, love and plenty at home. The carols have their origins since the time of the Daco-Romans in the ancient (pre-Christian) winter holidays, in the pre-Christian, in the Saturnalia, in the holidays dedicated to Sol invictus (The Unbeared Sun) to the Romans and in the January Calendars, by which they are evil spirits were chased away and a reunion with those who were in eternity took place.

It is said that December does not only mean the end of a certain time interval and the beginning of another interval, but the cancellation of the past and of individual or collective sin through a ritual purification, and on holidays, from Christmas to Bobotea, the heavens are open.

We cannot say exactly which of the Romanian provinces gave more carols, but only that they are as beautiful and rich in content. When we speak of the popular origin of carols, we refer to the fact that they are the anonymous creation of the Romanian people, although those who gave them life belong to all social categories: clergy and myriads, teachers and ten or simple peasants with deep Christian faith.

In the Middle Ages, under the influence of the Church and through the overthrow of the Christian religion, which overlapped with the old pagan customs and rituals, the carols were loaded with the Christian spirit of the feast and joy of the Birth of the Savior. The ceremonies, parties and good wishes, occasioned by the end of autumn and the transition to a new year - in a special astral moment, when the heavens are said to open - the traditional carols become songs with strong spiritual significance, with a special emotional load, which leads to kindness, to a state of gratitude and generosity, to the openness of the heart, to the embracing and the care of others. The carols have a unifying ritual function in the community, connecting its members to a sacred, higher reality, which is lived on a social level with the open heart, cleansed by the purifying catharsis of the tunes, not by each individual, but together with the family members. , neighbors or members.

If we are to refer to the environment in which the carol and the tradition of carol appeared and developed, it should be emphasized that the Romanian village represented from the beginning the frame or hearth of its formation. Thousands of carols and songs of the star, the latter being of more recent origin, were collected by Romanian folk and musicians from the 19th-20th centuries. They, listening to them sung by the Romanian peasants from the villages, noted them on their notebooks, thus inscribing them in the treasure of culture and spirituality of the Romanian Orthodox faith.

The first collection of carols and star songs was published by Anton Pann in 1830, containing only the texts. The other four editions will also include carols, but recorded on psaltery. According to him, Teodor Burada, Tiberiu Brediceanu, Bela Bartok, Sabin Drăgoi, George Breazul, Gh. Cucu, Constantin Brăiloiu, Nicolae Ursu and others have made rich collections of carols that we sing today, either in their monodic form or in their choral version, as a result of the compositional mastery of some Romanian composers.

"Carol", "carol" means to walk, to go from place to place, close to the meaning of the word pilgrimage. The caroling, like the pilgrimage, does not happen without a purpose and without a target. In the case of carols, the target is the houses of the people, and the purpose is holy: the announcement of a great event - the Birth of the Lord.

In the religious text of the carols, Jesus is often represented as a son of the Romanian family, born and raised in the Romanian mioritic area, being dressed in the traditional Romanian port: Mititel, wrapped, in a cotton diaper ... On the baby Jesus, no wind you warn him, the snowy snow does not touch him, in the sense that, though he is born of the Mother of the Lord without a father, on earth, however, God being, all the works and works of the cosmos are subjected to him and he confirms him as Creator and Pronator, All-seeing and Omnipotent. He is the Upper East who replaced the old vanishing faith in the cult of Mithra, the deity of Iranian origin. He is the true Sun of justice. The origin and popular value of carols are also expressed by the simple lyrics with a catalytic structure, such as: We walk and corundum, Dalbe flowers, We walk and corundum / Yes colac we do not get, Dalbe flowers, Yes we do not get ... and acatalectic : In the city of Viflaim-u, Come all to see us, the Lord and our Lord / That today we were born, the Emperor of long ago, the Lord and our Lord ..., so peculiar to the verse and to the Romanian folk melos. The emergence of the Lerui ler chorus with its multiple linguistic transformations encountered in different areas of our country, such as lero, oleros, leonda, lerumi, oileranda, oler, oleranda and others, is a direct testimony of the rural origin of our carols.
In the village communities, all the houses were carved, regardless of the financial power of the hosts, as everyone had to enjoy on this holy day the message of carolers. Those who dared not receive the carolers, they were breaking fences or carving the walls of houses and were popular throughout the village. Unfortunately, the consumer society has largely perverted the true meaning and message of the carol.

Some people divide the carols into "Orthodox" and "Catholic", but it is a mistake. Thus, the Gregorian invoice song "Puer natus est" or "Troparul of the Birth of the Lord", of Byzantine origin, is part of the sacred music sphere dedicated to the largest Christian holiday. But they are not carols. Through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as a reply to the "pagan" carols, the so-called "star songs" appear in Muntenia and Moldova, practiced by children who carried in their hands and a star made of various materials. Melos and texts, structurally different from carols, belonged either to people of the church - priests or teachers - or to teachers from the villages. This is the case of the songs "Three screams from the East", Nine today has dawned "," At Bethleem ". About the well-known "Oh, what a wonderful news", Sabin Drăgoi, who mentions it in his 1925 collection, clearly says that it is a star song that, according to its melody and rhythm, belongs to the Transylvanian Saxons. To those who support the idea of ​​"Orthodox" and "Catholic" carols, I would ask the question: "Are the Pluguşorul, Capra, Bears, Căiuţii, Catholic or Orthodox customs?". The answer is only one: they are part of the Romanian folk treasure!

The carol, as a poetic-musical genre, is spread to all Balkan peoples and beyond. We find carols with Christian content also in the Anglo-Saxon, German and Slavic peoples, but the Romanian carols repertoire is much richer than these peoples.

In Romania, as well as in other countries of Eastern Christian rite, where the worship of mages is celebrated at Christmas time, walking with the star takes place on Christmas night, while in countries with western rites, where the worship of mages is celebrated by Boboteaza, they walk star on the eve of this holiday.

The oldest Christian Christmas song is "Jesus repfulsit omnium", composed by St. Ilarie de Poitiers, in the fourth century. Also, the carols "O come today, Emanuel", written in the 12th century and "Song of Mary", sung mainly in the Catholic churches and conceived in the Middle Ages with lyrics extracted directly from the Gospel of Luke, are two of the most old christmas songs.

In the early 1990s, it was a true invasion of international carols. The world wanted them, listened to them and sang with tears in their eyes. Many, especially young people in the urban area, heard them for the first time. Unfortunately, with this huge wave of sympathy on which the carols were "restored", a general confusion of what is meant by "carol" was gradually introduced. Thus appeared the subliminal message of the obsessive and transcontinental "Jingle bells", considered, by the ignorant, as an "international" carol. Many did not think it was an "equivalent" of the Romanian "Sanie cu zurgălăi", but not a carol, and, even more, "international", but just a simple winter song. Carols also have neighboring Slavic peoples: Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles, Slovaks, Serbs. In the south, they meet throughout the entire Thracian territory. It can not be "import carols" or "international"! The confusion is maintained by ignorance of numerous media channels, but also of half-persons with high social positions.


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Keywords: Romanian traditions | Christmas traditions | winter traditions | Romanian Christmas carols | traditional Romanian songs | traditional Christmas songs | Christmas | winter holidays | winter songs