Going souvenir hunting is one of those parts that almost never misses from a trip. Why? The answer is simple: back at home, going through your collection of items from around the world, you’ll get to relive those wonderful memories from all the places that you have visited! When it comes to choosing a souvenir, make sure you go for unique and traditional memorabilia made by local artists and craftsmen. If you’re not really sure what to choose to remember Romania by, our selection will surely come in handy:
If you visit Romania in the first week of March, then you definitely can’t leave without the traditional “mărțișor”. From the olden days up until present time, men would offer women either a little trinket or flowers adorned with a red and white string as a symbol of their respect and women would wear the trinkets pinned to their clothes. The colours of the string bear significance: the red is said to stand for life and the white for purity. It is said that those who wear the red and white string will be healthy and prosperous throughout the year.
Peasant blouses have been catching on popularity, but an authentic one will surely stand out. A traditional “ie” (the Romanian for peasant blouse) is entirely handmade, from the thin white fabric to the intricate embroidery on the chest and sleeves, bearing patterns that used to tell stories about the wearer, giving clues about age, social status and region. Have your “ie” ready in June, on the 24th the unofficial day of the Romanian blouse is celebrated!
A tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation, the art of pottery is still alive in Romania with one of the most famous pottery centres set in Horezu. Using a traditional potter’s wheel and simple finishing tools, it might not seem like a complicated task, but a unique piece of pottery requires special techniques and refined craftsmanship. At Horezu, for example, the same techniques and raw materials have been used for hundreds of years.
Give pottery a go yourself and find out how well you master this art!
Icons play a long-standing part in the everyday life of Romanians. You’ll find them adorning the walls of churches and at least one is present in most Orthodox homes. Icons have a two-fold purpose: they tell the Bible story in images, depicting saints and significant events, while also playing an important part in prayer, since they help one concentrate and meditate. The art of icon-painting is spread all across the country; in Transylvania originated a specific type of icon – the icon painted on glass.
Easter brings along every year the tradition of intricately painted eggs, or “ouă încondeiate” as Romanians say. Bukovina is renowned for making an art out of this tradition. A lot patience and skill go into decorating an egg usually with geometric patterns, but also with various shapes of flowers and animals. Since this tradition has brought about the fascination of so many people, painted hollowed-out eggs can be found throughout the year, making for a truly representative souvenir from Romania.
Next time you come to visit Romania, remember to look for artists’ and artisans’ shops and take as a souvenir a unique piece that speaks of Romanian traditions!