It’s that time of the year again. And you know what that means. Shopping for presents, decorating the tree, preparing food, being with your loved ones. And today was our National Romanian Day (December 1st); that means that we celebrated 97 years since Romania has united with the Transylvania region. That’s the time when the country was complete, as you know it today.
And to celebrate this occasion, two things have happened:
1. We had a big parade in the city center showcasing the achievements of the Romanian Army.
2. The Christmas Market has opened, in University Square.
Speaking of the market let me highlight a few things that you can find here, if you are in Bucharest by any chance; this is something that you have to visit this time of year.
Usually you might be accustomed to the Vienna, Prague or Brussels Christmas Markets, but the Bucharest one is truly special in its own way, even it’s on a smaller scale.
The whole city center is decorated with Christmas lights, from one end to the other. All over the place, and I mean, all over the place. As you can see in the pictures posted above, they used different kinds of lights for each area; white ones, blue ones, yellow ones, red ones, and so on. And it’s impossible not to notice the huge Christmas tree in the middle of the market. The pictures won’t do it justice. We have a saying : “you have to see it to believe it”.
Next are the small boutique shops within the marketplace. If you’re hungry, you can delight yourselves with some fine traditional dishes, including the wonderful boiled red wine; it blends perfectly with the cold weather outside. If you’re not hungry, you can browse around the shops, finding various traditional items from all over the country…from clothing to pots, from wood carved statues to glassware. It’s the perfect place to grab a souvenir to bring it back home with you.
And an event like this wouldn’t be complete without music. In the middle of the University Square, right next to the tree, there is a stage. On that stage, some of our best known artists are performing traditional Romanian music; we call it “the people’s music – Muzica Populara”. And it’s great to see visitors dancing in the middle of the square, with total strangers. Because this is our national day, we feel closer to one another, we enjoy the same music, we have the same habits, we forget about our troubles. Picture this: you’re coming to the market, you grab a glass of boiled red wine (hot wine) and start dancing. There is nothing like it.
And in the end, that’s what Christmas is all about, right? Now, I hope you all got your Christmas lists ready, cause it’s gonna be a busy month. One of the most beautiful months of the year, or as Mr. Johnny Mathis would say: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”.