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Friday, March 09, 2007
The Day of the 40 Holy Martyrs
"The Romanian popular tradition and the Orthodox religion are celebrating today The Day of the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebastia, one of the most beloved holidays nationwide. This holiday of a very old origin used to celebrate the beginning of the Agrarian Year, which marked the official conclusion of winter and the beginning of spring. As an agrarian holiday dedicated to earth, homemakers are preparing eight-shaped bagels symbolising the season cycles. These bagels known as “mucenici” are brought by women to Church in the morning to be hallowed by the priest.

The “mucenici” are then given to the faithful together with a candle lit for the souls of the deceased. There is the belief that on this day the souls of the dead are released on Earth to join their loved ones who are alive to enjoy this holiday together. This is also the day when, as tradition goes, people should drink 40 or 44 glasses of red wine, which will turn into blood during the year, making the drinker strong and healthy. Everybody is supposed to drink the wine, and those who don’t should at least have a taste of it or let themselves sprinkled with wine. Although the number of wineglasses that should be drunk corresponds to the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebasteia, the custom goes back to ancient Bachian holidays celebrated on the day of the spring equinox."

More details in Nine O'Clock.

I have to tell you that, besides the beagles, there is also some other flour backed little 8-shaped pasta that's boiled in water and server with cinnamon and nuts. It is delicious! Both types of "mucenici" are! As they are made only once a year, I've been quite anxious to get them starting February all my life. So I just can't wait to get at my mom's tomorrow and just enjoy!

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posted by Alina @ 12:06 PM  
7 Comments:
  • At 3/09/2007 3:22 PM, Blogger Ryan said…

    Now, that's not fair. If we forget 1, 8 March, or an anniversary or some other holiday of the sort, we get better acquainted with the couch...

    Apart from everything you said, tradition has it that today is also Man's Day, yet you haven't said a word on that.

     
  • At 3/09/2007 3:27 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Man's day? There no such thing. Is there? The Mosi (Old Men) start today, and last for 8 days. But that is all. Is there something more? Cause if there is, I have no idea :D

     
  • At 3/09/2007 4:04 PM, Anonymous Sim said…

    Isn't today the day of the 40 glasses? The day when men should drink 40 glasses of something (I don't remember if it was wine or something else).

    Anyway, I will say I hate March... no martisoare, no mucenici here :( At least I won't spend Easter here, so I will have the red eggs and cozonac :).

     
  • At 3/09/2007 4:15 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Yes, it is. It is also written in the post :D It's ok, I'll let you blame it on the lack of Mucenici :D

     
  • At 3/10/2007 2:16 PM, Blogger Hechkok said…

    I love festivals of all kinds and I would like most to taste a bit of this beagles.

     
  • At 3/10/2007 3:45 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    You would definitely enjoy having one!

     
  • At 3/12/2007 10:48 AM, Blogger Cristina Banu said…

    Wow I didn't know the meaning of mucenici by now. Too bad mom didn't make mucenici this year :(

     
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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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