Sânzienele – Romanian Term for the Good Fairies of Love

© www.gandul.info – Dance of Sanziene in Romania

The legends about Sânziene are numerous: some say it originated from an ancient Dacian cult of the Sun (in Thrace, there were characters continuously dancing in a circle or in “horă”, the traditional Romanian folk dance). Others say that they are the girls of the Roman goddess Diana (goddess of hunting, forests and flowers).

It is said that the night before Sânziene is magical: people pray to escape trouble and illness, miracles are possible and the good and the negative forces are stronger than ever. Sânzienele represent some beautiful fairies with blonde hair and dressed in white, who live in forests or over the fields. They gather into a circle dance and gives magic to plants (that become cures for diseases), fertility to soil and to married women. If they are not celebrated properly, it is known that they turn into Iele, the evil and vengeful fairies from the Romanian mythology.

The good fairies share love and help young people to find their half. The Romanian celebration is also called “Drăgaica” because, from a group of 7 girls, the prettiest and the purest girl from a whole village is chosen, named Drăgaică and adorned with wheat ears.

Traditions about the good magical fairies are spread all over Europe. On the Romanian territory, they are celebrated in many ways: traditional plays, hore, wearing wreaths of sânziene (flowers collected in the morning of St. John the Baptist), purifying fires, prayers, commemorating those who died (the celebration called “Moşii de Sânziene” – the wise forefathers) and so on.

Sânzienele represent the celebration of love, honored with songs, circle dances and fires (the Sun cult) and the night between 23rd and 24th of June is a night of magic, when the gates of heaven are opened and the earth is filled with peace. In addition, La Blouse Roumaine, the admirers of the Romanian blouses (ii), Romanian companies (as TAROM – Romanian Air Transport) and ambassadors from all over the world established that this magical day, 24th of June, must become the International Day of the Romanian Blouse. 

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