Every year on April 23 the Romanians celebrate Saint George (Sfantul Gheorghe in Romanian), one of the most important saints in the Orthodox calendar.
Nearly one million Romanians celebrate their name today, and most of them are men. The most popular names are Gheorghe, George, Georgiana, Georgeta, Gheorghita and Geta.
Saint George was born in Cappadocia, and his parents were Christian. He joined the Roman army and was promoted to the rank of military tribune and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.
In 303, the Emperor gave a decree by which all Christians were bound to deny faith in Christ and worship the Roman gods. Saint George refused to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods and was executed by decapitation on April 23, 303.
On this day, the Romanians decorate their houses with green branches or plants, this being a local tradition through which the locals mark the revival of nature. It is also said that the green plants keep their households safe. Also, before sunrise, people bathe in running water to be healthy all year long and to wash away all evils.
According to local superstitions, those who sleep on this day will be sleepy all year. Also, the garbage collected on this day should be put at root of the fruit trees, as it is said that this way the trees will make many fruits.
Irina Marica, [email protected]