Sunday of the Dead in the Romanian people’s culture is a less spectacular, but very interesting feast day. This feast is dedicated to the dead and is celebrated one week after Easter. On this day, everyone goes to the cemetery. In some parts, this holiday is celebrated on Monday. The gifts offered in memory of the dead differ depending on the settlement: bed covers, sets of glasses, towels, plates and dishes and knot-shaped or Easter bread, red-painted eggs and candies, said teacher of folklore Ala Bodlev-Tabaranu, of the Cahul State University “Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu”, being quoted by IPN.
Ala Bodlev-Tabaranu noted that on these days at the cemetery, the priest holds the Requiem Mass where everyone brings a sheet of paper with the names of the dead written on it and a plate with candies. “The priest goes around the cemetery for three times and then visits each grave and splashes holy water on graves and on the prepared gifts. The old say the brought food should include red painted eggs, Easter bread and cakes and also steaming cabbage rolls with rice and mincemeat filling as they believe the souls of the dead also sit at that table,” explained the teacher.
According to her, Sunday of the Dead is a roman reminiscence. The antic Romans held the “Parentalia” that lasted for a week, when all the members of the family went to the graves of the ancestors and offered bread, wine, candies and even tasted food brought to the grave. This Christian gesture is manifestation of respect for the dead. “We can say that this is the most valuable gift we can make to those who passed away and to ourselves as now our hearts are much cleaner, while the minds are more lucid and resigned,” said the teacher of folklore Ala Bodlev-Tabaranu, of the Cahul State University “Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu”.
This year, the institutions responsible for the management of the health crisis recommend the people who go to the cemetery to wear a mask, to maintain physical distancing and not to eat food and drink alcoholic beverages inside cemeteries so as to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.