There are some unique Romanian traditions that take place at the after party such as a visit from the Ursitoare (fairies who bring well wishes). What special traditions did you follow on the day?
Indeed, we have a lot of traditions and customs related to baptism with specific duties for parents and godparents, some of them being religious and others being passed from one generation to another, together with a lot of superstitions. Although we are quite modern as a family, we love our culture and try to pass some of these traditions down to our children. One of the first traditions is regarding the preparations - there was a Christening trousseau for Max which was bought by the godmothers and included:
· A large new white towel
· A small new white towel
· One set of new white clothing and/or a baptismal robe (christening gown)
· A gold/silver cross and chain
· A white candle that was made to order and it was held by the godparents. Usually it is decorated with flowers, teddies
, or a design that will match the party theme. Our candle was part of a set and it matched the other items in the trousseau.
· A bottle for the holy water
· Wine and oil for the church
· A religious icon.
In the church there were also a few other things that had to be present on the table and used during the Christening: a bottle of chrism – a bit of which goes on the baby’s head, small scissors used to cut a bit of hair (which the parents will hold on to forever) and the golden crosses and Bible are there to be kissed by the Godfathers at different moments during the ceremony. The Godparents also held Max during the entire church ceremony and prepared him for the ritual bath, then they dressed him in his new clothes. They also held the candle and read the Creed during the ceremony. The parents buy and offer baptism favours (small, inexpensive jewellry crosses which are pinned to the guest's clothes) and candies for the guests after the baptism ceremony. The visit of the three fairies known as “Ursitoare” means 'the girls who decide the fate'. They are supposed to appear three nights after the child's birth to determine the course of its life, but nowadays we recreate the moment during the Christening party, where they come to wish him a prosperous and happy life. There is also a Chrism bath that takes place the second day after the baptism; it was an event attended only by parents, godparents and relatives. In the baby’s bathtub flowers, a silver coin, a gold ring, milk and honey and sanctified oil from the baptism ceremony are added into the water. During the bath time, in some traditions the godmother will say a few words, like a spell: ‘’I wish you to be beautiful like the flowers, to shine like the gold, to be kind like the milk, and to run money like honey runs.’’ There is also an interesting ceremony that will take place when Max celebrates his first birthday - a baby’s first haircut ceremony where family and friends gather to cut a short strand that is kept by the parents to remember the day. The most awaited moment is when the baby has to choose from a special tray with different objects placed in front of him – money, car keys, pen, jewellry, etc. Whatever the baby chooses, will determine his life.