Vasilca – ancient New Year’s tradition in southern Romania

Vasilca, the ancient New Year’s tradition is a folk show particularly specific to southern Romania, namely in Teleorman County, in localities such as Nasturelu and Zimnicele.

The custom is a carol usually sung on New Year’s Eve and on the first day of the year, above all, and it has been also recently presented during the Florile Dalbe (White Snow Flowers) Festival of the Romanian Christmas carols, at the Bucharest-based Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum, Dunarica Folk Assembly coordinator Florea Simion told.

One of the carol singers carries a tray with the head of a pig decorated with glass beads and earrings, on it. The singers carol the life story of Vasilca, the symbol of the old year, and the custom is called Cicea or Shiva, in other areas. At Nasturelu, where there are beautiful folk costumes, fiddlers also accompany carolers.

Sorcova, is another custom, a small branch or stick adorned with differently coloured artificial flowers, whereby children rhythmically touch relatives and neighbors, congratulating and wishing them a long life to a hoary age and a Happy New Year.

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