Sunday, 24 June 2012

Night of the Sânziene, (June 23rd- 24th)

I am posting about fairies instead of watching England play Italy and I don't feel guilty. 

My friend Sarah has just written one of her enchanting blog posts about last night, the night of the Sânziene.  

It puts me in mind of one of my very favourite poems, Bishop Corbet's wonderful lament for Catholic England. In Catholic England magic and fairies existed, as they still do in Romania which never had a Reformation to remove what the old churches subsumed of paganism, pre-Christian magic and a close connection with the earth. 

Witness those rings and roundelays 
Of theirs, which yet remain, 
Were footed in Queen Mary’s days 
On many a grassy plain; 
But since of late, Elizabeth, 
          And later, James came in,  
They never danced on any heath  
As when the time hath been. 

Sarah, who left Romania years ago, knows a hundred times more than I about this country and makes me ashamed. But like me (and very unlike some foreign bloggers) she loves Romania with a passion. 

More here about the Night of the Sanziene.

Until I read Sarah's post, which she was kind enough to send me, the only Sanziana I was aware of was a lubricious starlet called Sanziana Buruiana (celebrity culture came to Romania long ago, long before I did, and she appears almost daily in the less weighty newspapers). 

She is no fairy but here, in a recent pose, Miss Buruiana's dress seems to me to symbolise fecundity, but I am not sure whether she is a symbol of midsummer or of the forthcoming ripe harvest. 


  1. Thank you very much for the very flattering recommendation!!

    Laughed my toes off re: the 'forthcoming ripe harvest'...!!! :D :D


    1. Nice photo.

      Thanks for sharing.