Traditional Romanian Christmas Celebration

15th December 2007

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Saturday 15 December 2007 14.00 - 18.00, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH (see map here) The Romanian Cultural Centre in London / Ratiu Foundation, together with the Embassy of Romania in the UK, and the Romanian Orthodox Church in London have the pleasure of inviting you to a special afternoon of Christmas family fun, Romanian-style. Father Christmas will make a guest appearance, and we promise a wonderful programme for the little ones and for the grown-ups. Programme:
  • Romanian snacks for all
  • Romanian traditional Christmas Carols with the Choir of the Romanian Orthodox Church in London
  • 15.00 – 16.00 - Theatre programme with our special guests from the Bucharest National Theatre
  • 16.00 – 16.30 – Meeting Father Christmas. Presents for the children
Note: Dear Parents, in order to help Father Christmas, please bring a small wrapped present, clearly marked with your child’s name and surname to be added to Father Christmas’ sack. Please let us know if you can attend this event and how many people are likely to accompany you, so we can arrange an appropriate amount of food. Book your places at or Tel. 020 7439 4052, ext. 108

Theatre Programme: Tinerete fara batranete si viata fara de moarte / Youth Everlasting and Life without End

by Petre Ispirescu. English version by Ana Cartianu With: Monica Davidescu, Vlad Cretu (guitar), Alexandru Tibulca (guitar) Directed by Dan Tudor This theatre show is part of the Christmas celebration organised by the Romanian Cultural Centre in London / Ratiu Foundation, the Embassy of Romania in the UK, and the Romanian Orthodox Church in London, with the support of Blue Air (14.00 - 18.00, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH). FREE ENTRANCE. Booking is essential. See details further below. Mankind has always looked for the elixir of youth... This old Romanian folktale, retold by Petre Ispirescu, features a dashing young prince who wants to find out where the Land of Eternal Youth is. And he wanted to have youth everlasting from even before he was born! So, as soon as he has grown up enough as to be a prince charming, he saddles his enchanted talking horse and goes through amazing adventures in search for the Land of Everlasting Youth. Of course, countless supernatural obstacles will come their way trying to smash them to smithereens. Will our prince succeed in fulfilling his quest? You will find out soon! Monica Davidescu is a theatre, film, and TV actress. She is part of the troupe of the Bucharest National Theatre, and is well known for roles from both the classical and contemporary Romanian and international repertoire. Dan Tudor is a theatre, film, and TV actor, as well as a theatre director. As an actor, he trod the boards of some of the most prestigious theatres in Romania, in a variety of roles. He is now part of the troupe of the Bucharest National Theatre. His directorial activity spans both contemporary and classical theatre. Vlad Cretu and Alexandru Tibulca are professional musicians in well-known Romanian bands, such as Todo Mondo (representing Romania in the Eurovision 2007 song contest).

Romanian Christmas

Together with Easter, Christmas is the most important celebration in Romanian tradition. The religious meaning of Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ is still preserved in Romania and is very important to people. Although Christmas celebrations benefit of the presence of Santa Claus / Father Christmas (Mos Craciun in Romanian), and the weeks before 25 December are as much of a shopping bonanza as they are in the UK, tradition still has a say in the way the celebrations go on. Carols - usually from the folkloric and Orthodox Church tradition - are a must, and so is Christmas food. Several Christmas foods: ‘Cozonac’ - a brioche-loaf with chopped walnuts, Turkish Delight and raisins; ‘Sarmale’ - similar to Greek or Lebanese stuffed vine-leaves (dolma), with the difference that the filling is made with rice, spices and minced pork, and the leaves are generally pickled cabbage leaves; ‘Carnati’ - Romanian fresh sausages, just like the British ones, only meatier and spicier; ‘Caltabos’ - what one would end up with if crossing a haggis with a sausage. The traditional celebrations continue until 7 January, with the feasts of St Stephen (27 December), New Year’s Day, St Basil the Great (1 January), the Baptism of Christ (6 January), and St John the Baptist (7 January). Organised by: The Romanian Cultural Centre in London/Ratiu Foundation, The Embassy of Romania in the UK, The Romanian Orthodox Church in London Sponsored by: Blue Air (