Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Many happy returns of the day, Mihaelas, Mihais and Gabis

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Today is St. Michael and St. Gabriel's Day and people in Romania named after the two archangels receive calls from their friends. Saints' days function pretty much exactly like birthdays. 

King Michael of Romania celebrates his saint's day today. 'O good old man, how well in thee appears the constant service of the antique world.' Many happy returns of SS Michael and Gabriel's Day to His Majesty and all Mihaelas, Mihailas, Mihais, Gabriels and Gabrielas. 1.3 million Romanians out of about 20 million are named after the two archangels.

St Michael's and St Gabriel's day is traditionally the last warm day of the year but this year it doesn't feel warm. 



How nice to live in a country suffused with folk Christianity, where saints' days are universally celebrated, even by atheists. Romania is in many ways more civilised than England.


Shepherds bake a special kind cake today, named “turta arieČ›ilor” (“the cake of the rams"), today rams are let loose among the sheep and one shepherd – usually the youngest – throws the cake high in the air. If it falls down face-up, many lambs will be born in the spring. If face down, the sheep will have few lambs.

Archangels and angels are not given very much attention these days by the devout in post-Protestant countries like England or America (one exception is this book by Dr. Martin Israel), but in late antiquity they were very much venerated and still are by Romanians, who understand that religion is about the supernatural.

1 comment:

  1. It's so amazing to hear some wonderful words from from other citizens of another nationality like you Paul. I am very proud by my nationality and embrace this type of thinking. We can discuss a lot about of religion and faith between post-Protestant countries/nations and the Christian one

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