I am a vocal atheist, but at the same time I know a bit about religious traditions around (you can’t be an atheist without being familiar with the religious dogma) and I enjoy some of the traditional food (does it make me a hypocrite?)

Mucenici or Măcinici is a traditional for for the Christian-Orthodox holiday celebrating the 40 martyrs of Sebaste with takes place on 9 March. Is a dessert of two sorts: in Muntenia (south) is like a soup of “8” shaped little pasta, sweetened and traditionally flavoured with cinnamon and walnuts, in modern times we also add for flavour rum essence and lemon or orange peels. In Moldova (north-west), again some “8” shaped bigger dough pieces, baked in the oven, then dipped in honey syrup and flavored with walnuts (those are also called “Saints”)

This year I only had the southern sort, the soup. The pasta was bought from the store, the rest is home-made. Hopefully for the next year I will have some photos with the other one too.

Another tradition for this holiday is to celebrate all the saints, so if there were 40 martyrs dying… you have to drink 40 glasses of wine, one for each saint. Not bad… but way more than I can handle 🙂

And there is yet another tradition: if your name don’t have a patron saint (your given name is not the same as the name of a saint officially celebrated in the religious calendar), then 9 March is your name day. Another opportunity to celebrate, I guess…


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