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a children caroling custom

In the morning of Saint Basil Day, groups of little boys and girls (about 3-5 in a group) visit their relatives and neighbours with the "Sorcova" and the "Sowing" wishing them health and richness in the new year.

Children wear the symbol of celebration in their hands a bouquet used for the New Year's wishes called "Sorcova". Usually Sorcova is made of blooming, fertile tree branches (the ones put to bud on Saint Andrew day) adorned with red tassels. Nowadays, Sorcova is made of artificial flowers tied on a little branch.

Just like our Latin ancestors, who wished themselves health and richness on January the 1st with green laurel or olive tree branches picked from (Oops!) goddess garden, little Romanian "wishers" come to people's houses singing:

May you look with merry eyes
at that little bunch I rise ,
tiny flowers may they bring
you an everlasting spring !
Sorcova All the fragrance, all the bloom,
shall a fairy on her loom
weave for you, and smile, and wait
to open the golden gate !
May your steps be quick and strong,
always right and never wrong !
May you always find the 'clue',
see your dearest dreams come true,
have it always as you like,
and each time a lucky strike !
and as merry as you can !
To you and to all your dears many, bright,
Happy New Years !

The name "sorcova" comes from the Bulgarian word "surov" (fresh green) , allusion to the branch broken from a tree. Inclined towards someone, the Sorcova plays in some way the role of a magic wand, which is meant to bring vigour and youth to that person. The text of wishing is meant to reinforce the movement of the Sorcova.

the merry sorcova,
Long may you live
To a hoary old age,
Long may you flourish,
Like pear trees,
Like apple trees,
In midsummer."

When the Sorcova "wishers" finish saying their cheers, the Sowings (the children who keep some wheat, corn and rice in their little bags wheat) start throwing the tribes inside the people's houses with the belief they will bring wealth to the household.

Previous custom: Nativity drama
Back to Christmas in Romania

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