Each year, every village, town, and city in Moldova celebrates a holiday called hram. On this day, friends and family come to visit, large meals are prepared, and there is usually a concert in the evening. The date of hram varies from village to village, town to town. It is based on the saint’s day of the oldest church in the village or town. Each church is named after a saint, and when it’s that saint’s holiday, the village or town celebrates. Although the date comes from the church’s name and there are religious celebrations related to it, the holiday also celebrates the founding of the village or town.
My village’s hram occurs every year on November 21st. The school is closed and everyone celebrates. This year, my village celebrated 314 years since the first documentation of a village here. I spent the morning with my host family, and my host mom prepared a gorgeous spread. We weren’t sure if we’d have any visitors as my host siblings and their families weren’t coming, but my host parents’ nașii, or wedding godparents, joined us as well as some friends of my host dad.
In the evening, I headed to our casa de cultura (cultural house/community center) for the concert. A number of traditional dance and music groups performed as well as the well-known singer Zinaida Julea (listen to some of her music here). Of course, my favorite performance was that of the students from the traditional music and dance school in my village. They are all my students at school and I love to see them perform- they are incredibly talented and they were even called onstage for an encore performance last night!
I spent the remainder of the evening talking to my host mom until way too late! It was a beautiful day and celebration.