New Year 2022 Plugusorul opens the day
The rituals start on the morning of New Year’s Eve. Groups of children go from house to house to recite the poem Plugusorul (the small plow), wishing people health and rich crops in the coming year. The message underlines past realities when a family’s livelihood was based on small-scale agriculture.
In the evening, groups of adults dressed in traditional costumes start their own tour. They play music and recite Plugul (the big plow. In the past, they even used to bring a real plow carried by horses or bulls to make their performance special.
Still, don’t expect to see this live show anymore, not even in the villages where the traditions of Plugusorul still go on.
The devil, the bear, and the bride start dancing
The most colorful of the New Year’s Eve traditions in Romania is the performance of animal dances. The meaning of these complex ceremonials of death and rebirth also goes back to the agrarian lifestyle from the past.
A variety of representations from the animal world like goats, horses, or bears dance along with fictional characters like the devil. The ugly, the beautiful, the elder, the military, the gypsy, the bride, and the emperor join the dance.