Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays have a special meaning for the locals from Homorod, a commune from Brasov County, where the Romanians, the Hungarians and the Saxons live together. People make early preparations for the Birth of Jesus Christ, they fast, clean their houses and procure everything necessary for adorning the Christmas tree and wait for Santa Clause with presents. The young women and men pay special attention to the folk costumes they wear with great honor during these holidays.
"On the Christmas night, young men go to girls` houses and sing carols such as announcing the Birth of Jesus Christ. On Christmas` Eve, children perform a custom called Steaua, holding in their hands a star made by themselves on which they affix an icon representing the birth of Jesus Christ. On December25th, the young men and women go to church, dressed in folk costumes, side by side. They sing carols first at the priest?s house, then at the mayor's, the teacher's and finally at the young women's houses who gather together relatives and friends. They are offered pork ribs, sausages, brandy and other food that they usually eat on such occasion," said Mr. Marcel Pelei, Mayor of Homorod.
Carol "Steaua sus răsare"
Around the winter holidays, apart from "Steaua" custom when people sing the carol "Steaua sus răsare", it is also customary to sing some carols called "Plugusorul" and "Sorcova".
Through carols people wish to each other health, prosperity and fulfillment of desires in the New Year. The carol singing is the most popular tradition of Romanians. They say that when people refuse to greet carol singers or offer them presents, the magical effects are reversed, bringing them bad luck the whole year.
Carol "Plugusorul" is sung at each house on the New Year's Eve or until the morning of the New Year's Day. It used to be sung by children or teenagers, as it is nowadays, too. Though, they say that a long time ago only men performed this custom. The reciting of the carol's text is accompanied by bells ringing in the sound of buhai and whip strokes. In a more complex display of this custom other musical instruments are used, too (whistle, bagpipe, drum, kobza, violin) as well as fire crackers and popguns, amplifying the noise specific to this custom.