Romanian Holidays
January 14, 2012

Romanians celebrate the usual Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter (although Romania is a secular state, the vast majority of Romanians are Romanian Orthodox), as well as traditional and some newly adopted ones. For instance, Valentine’s Day is very popular, and the American Halloween is making some good headway!

List of official non-working holidays in Romania

  • 1st & 2nd January, New Year’s Day and the following day
  • April / May, Orthodox Easter and following Monday
  • 1st May, Labor Day
  • Rusaliile (Pentecost and Whit Monday), 50th and 51st days after Easter (this was instated as a national holiday in 2010).
  • 15th August, Saint Mary’s Day (Dormition of the Theotokos)
  • 1st December, Romania’s National Holiday (Great Union Day)
  • 25th & 26th December, Christmas
  • Two days for each of the two annual religious holidays, declared as such by legally recognized religions other than Christianity, for members of these religions.

Official Observances (working holidays): 

  • 24th January, Unification Day, commemorates the union of Wallachia and Moldova under Alexander Cuza and is celebrated in the city center every year.
  • 8th March, International Women’s Day, celebrating all women, especially mothers who receive many flowers on this day.
  • 1st June, Children’s Day, one can find the parks full of children playing, drawing or taking part in special activities that the city has prepared everywhere for them.
  • 26th June, is Flag Day.
  • 29th July, National Anthem Day, commemorates the first performance of the national anthem, Desteapta-te, Romane!
  • 8th December, Constitution Day, commemorates the Referendum on the Romanian Constitution, held in 1991.

Traditional Observances 

  • Many Romanians celebrate their Saint’s Name Day: St. John (7th January), St. George (23rd April), Sts. Peter & Paul (29th June), St. Mary (15th August), St. Michael (8th November) and St. Nicholas (6th December).
  • 24th February, Dragobetele, is the Romanian version of Valentine’s Day. Although it has lost popularity and Romanians have adopted its western rival, many people especially in the countryside still celebrate it. And, it is said that if you step over your lover’s foot on this day, you will gain dominance in the relationship, so watch out!
  • 1st March, Martisorul, represents the return of spring. On this day all the women receive flowers from men and a talisman called Martisor, with two strings (one red and one white) attached to the charm. Some informal mini – hints about superstitions Everyone has their own special beliefs, so don’t be surprised to find many new ones in Romania. This is not a complete list, and they tend to change with the region you’re in, but many old people especially, respect them. Here are a couple for you to remember:
  • Romanians consider whistling inside to be quite bad manners; it is also considered “singing sorrow”.
  • Many Romanians never wash their clothes on Mondays because people might hate you, and also many consider that it is a bad idea to pay bills on Monday as it means that every day of that week you’ll have to spend money.
  • A lot of Romanians tend to ask and evaluate you depending on your zodiac – you will find out a lot about astrology, if you have not done this yet. If you don’t believe in astrology yourself, then make sure you pick a good sign!
  • Never give a bouquet comprising an even number of flowers, always buy an odd number.
  • Don’t be surprised if you are asked to close a window; many Romanians believe that all sorts of ailments are caused by draughts.