Well today is May 1, officially a holiday to celebrate “workers” and unofficially a day to party and kick off the summer. In the Communist time this would’ve been a day for parades but now it’s mostly time to head to the beach or pool or find a patch of grass somewhere in order to set up the barbecue and fire up some mici and slanina and have some drinks with your friends and enjoy yourself.
Hilariously, for the first time in living memory, the government passed a law that all cities had to designate official “picnic zones” where people could get their grill on (and it’s now illegal to grill anywhere else). I think Bucharest finally got a few designated at the last minute but I know Cluj hadn’t even designated ANY official spots as of last week and Timisoara I think just had one. Therefore my guess is that, in true Romanian fashion, the de facto “grill wherever you want to” custom is going to be in effect for a few more years LOL.
Romania, as always, has the luck of the devil when it comes to May 1. Just two weeks ago we were in the middle of a long, cold rainy spell. Just 10 weeks ago was the white apocalypse when even the capital was buried in snow. But May 1? Like some kind of spooky magic, the hot, sunny weather kicks in every year right on time for May 1 and so now summer has officially begun. As I even said in my own book, if you’re coming here solely for tourist purposes, anytime after May 1 is the perfect time to visit.
To Americans, the fact that May 1 is the “International Worker’s Day” smacks of Communism because it was a major holiday in all Communist countries but in reality many countries in Latin America and Asia celebrate it too. But what few people know is that all of the May 1 = Worker’s Day celebrations, even in Russia, are based on something that happened a long time ago in Chicago in the United States. It was one of the most pivotal days in modern history but I’ll let you read the link if you like and I won’t get into too much detail here at this time.
Whatever you’re doing today, whether you’re working like me or you’re at the seaside or dipping your toes in a pool, whether you’re ambling through a forest or hiking up a mountain trail or whether you’re just relaxing in your home city/town and enjoying a park or a shady spot, I wish you a pleasant day :)