Children put tree branches (mainly apple, pear or plum) in water and hope that they will bloom in time for St. Vasile on 1st January when they will use them in their “sorcova”. Sorcova is a bunch of tree branches (can be a branch of the Christmas tree) nicely decorated that children take along when they visit people on the first day of the year. For sorcova, children normally go in small groups and sing traditional songs.
Single girls should put some leaves of basil and/or wheat grains under their pillows and if they are taken away over night that means that the girls will marry soon.
Plant wheat in a dish and water it well. The better it will look on New Year’s day, the better your year it will be and also your crops.
Bury salt under the stable door to keep the wolves and the bad spirits away from the cattle and add some holy water in the water prepared for the animals.
Rub garlic on doorsteps, doors and windows or any other place where evil spirits could enter the house.
Another way to stop the evil spirits entering the house is by turning all the pots and vessels in the house upside down.
Look at the night sky, if it’s clear the winter will be mild.
WHAT SHOULDN’T ONE DO ON ST. ANDREW’S DAY?
Women should not wash or comb their hair on St. Andrew’s day.
It’s not a good day to borrow or lend anything to anyone today.
As one can notice most of the rituals are more appropriate for somebody living in the countryside. Nevertheless some town people still choose to believe them and have adapted some of the traditions to their modern lifestyle.
As the day of Saint Andrew is a national public holiday in Romania most of the banks, public offices and many private businesses will be closed. Public transport is also affected so if you need to travel on the day check before you leave the house.