Romania’s patron Saint Andrei celebrated on November 30

Romanian Christians will celebrate St. Andrei (Andrew) on November 30, when over 600,000 Romanians named Andrei, Andreea, Andra, Andreas will also celebrate their name day.  St. Andrei is known as Romanians’ apostle and Romania’s spiritual patron. He was the apostle who preached in the Roman province Scythia Mica- today’s Dobrogea, introducing the Christianity in a region where people still believed in multiple Gods.

This is a Christian celebration which however has some pre-Christian roots, so several pagan traditions have been kept. The Christian celebration has actually replaced an ancient pagan tradition called the Day of the Wolf.

A common tradition on this day is to plant wheat seeds and keep them indoors until New Year’s Eve. The tradition goes that the person who plants the wheat will be able to tell how next year will be based on how the plants will look like. Another tradition is to take small branches from a fruit tree, put them in water and keep them until the Christmas holiday. The branches should bloom, which is another sign of how fruitful next year will be.

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