Updated 2 months ago

If you are considering a move to Romania, you are probably curious about what it’s like living in the country. In this article, find out about local culture, customs, and popular pastimes.  

Life in Romania can be a harmonious mixture of music and local cuisine that you can experience in one of the country’s numerous restaurants and bars. Religion is another important aspect of the local lifestyle, especially when it comes to family life. During your stay in the country, you will probably come across locals who will be delighted to share their culture with you and help you understand their style of living.

Religion and ancestral practices

Romania is one of the most religious countries and Europe and most of its population identify as Orthodox Christian. Hence, Easter and Christmas are the two most important festivals as these have the main purpose of reuniting families. Generally, the Romanian community is quite attached to their roots and a number of old traditions have been kept to this day like the celebration of Martisor (the first day of spring).

Folk festivals

Other folk festivals are also celebrated across the country, namely the Ladies' Festival on Mount Gaina, and the Flowers' Festival in Mehedinti and Severin. Romanians also celebrate the New Year and the National Day. However, the Romanian calendar includes only a few public holidays as most of these are related to orthodox festivals.

Local cuisine

The Romanian cuisine is, in its majority, very tied to local agriculture. You will find a lot of meat and vegetable-based dishes with pork, potatoes, cream, and cabbage being some of the most popular ingredients. Sarmale (cabbage rolls), mici (rolls with grilled minced meat), papanasi (a creamy dessert) are some of the national favourites.

In addition to tasty dishes, you also have the Romanian wine, which is quite different from that of other countries. Indeed, Romania used to be an important wine manufacturer thanks to the climate and soil perfect for growing a variety of winemaking grapes. Today, Romanian wines are well-appreciated not only in the country itself but also outside its borders. The country’s most famous wines include Murfatlar, Tarnaveni, Dealu Mare, Cotnari, and Odobesti.

 Good to know:

Drinking is part of the dining culture in Romania. In fact, the country ranks 16th in wine consumption and 10th in beer consumption in the world.

Hospitality

Romanians are particularly warm and hospitable. Most meals are started by a glass of Tsuica (a traditional strong alcoholic drink), which is manufactured in a handicraft way and has to be drunk bottoms up — this tradition is especially popular in villages. In fact, most people in Romania’s smaller towns would be very welcoming towards foreigners and eager to learn about your culture. Actually, you will be able to feel this hospitality in all restaurants and bars, which reverberate with traditional music along with the clinking of savoury local dishes.

Music

Romania is one of the few countries where you will find a number of village musicians who are always willing to share their joyful tunes with passers-by. The Romanian folk music is very present during family gatherings and festivals as well, including weddings and big family meals. You will also find folk musical bands in restaurant halls so as to add rhythm and allow people to have a pleasant moment.

 Useful links:

National Tourism Office – Romanian traditions and folklore
Romanian festivals

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