We are a nation with rich traditions and cultural heritage. In the Romanian popular tradition, the 24th of June is known as Sânziene: a pagan holiday that marks the middle of summer and celebrates nature and fecundity. In our popular belief, in the night of the 23rd of June, the sky is open and Sânzienele (beautiful girls) float in the air or walk on the ground dancing and singing.
But be very careful!
Although the Sânziene are generally benevolent creatures, there are many warnings in our folktales. If you see them dancing without their permission, it is said that you will go blind or even insane – sounds scary enough? Also, their voices can be heard calling out on the mountain slopes, but it is absolutely forbidden to answer to them. If you answer them you will become unable to speak for the rest of your life.
You have been warned – don’t go on a forest adventure on this night!
Sânziene is also the Romanian name of a wild yellow flower. Commonly known as the Lady’s bedstraw, this yellow flower was frequently used in ancient healing potions.
Celebrating the Romanian blouse Ia (pronounced [ee-ya])
On this day, we celebrate one of the most emblematic elements in our popular tradition: the Romanian blouse, Ia. Famous for their beauty, specific characteristics and particularities, the Romanian blouses are a living testimonial of our culture, beliefs, and spirituality.
Passed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, the technique employed in decorating the Romanian traditional blouse is a tradition that has been in our culture for centuries.
With different motives, inspirited from nature but also geometric shapes, the Romanian blouse has colorful embroideries. Depending on the region of the country, the blouse will have a different style, embroideries shape or color.
As a nation, we are very proud that our traditional peasant blouse has maintained its authenticity and is still a very well-preserved item in our wardrobe. The Romanian blouse became a source of inspiration for different artists and well-known designers and it has been worn by many celebrities.
To celebrate this long-lasting tradition, we decided to wear our Romanian blouses at the office. Also, we prepared a Romanian traditional lunch and decorated our table with yellow Sânziene flowers.