Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to address those who have noticed that I have not published any new blog posts in a few weeks. Unfortunately, I had been extremely busy with preparing for summer, working on a project, and working on my second VRF (Volunteer Reporting Form). I’m hoping that now, I will have more time to dedicate to writing.

Today makes 50 days after Easter, Pentecost, in the Orthodox Religion. In Romanian, that is called Duminica Mare. This morning, I woke up to find branches at the gates to our house (as seen in the photos below).

You might be wondering why the green branches. Well, first, it should be noted that Pentecost/Trinity Day/Descent of the Holy Spirit, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Faith (one of twelve). In many areas, green birch branches are used. They are a symbol of Russian nature.

Now, why the branches on the doors of the gates? In the past, people would take these green branches and flowers to church and then afterwards, would put them at their doors. It is used to protect against all ills. It is placed on the doors in hope of bringing health and prosperity to the household.

Additionally, this weekend, many family members came and visited, such as my host sister and brother-in-law and my host aunt and uncle. Additionally, my host niece has been staying with us for a few weeks this summer to spend some time with her grandparents.

My host mom made the comment to me that this is a family weekend. For many people, including my family members, this is also a time where people go to cemeteries to give alms in memory of their deceased relatives.

When family comes over, usually lots of food is eaten. I was able to get some photos of some plăcinte (pies) and . We had some sweet ones (photo on right) and the typical cheese and cheese and dill/green onion (being baked in the oven on the left).

Photo courtesy of my host sister Renata. Assortment of some of the breads (Placinta and muffins) made during the weekend.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them below. Until next time (and hopefully soon), have a nice cup of joe.

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