The Amazing Benefits of the 2-Christmas System

I’ve written about the surreal experience of living in a land with two Christmases before, but it wasn’t until this year that I learned to truly appreciate what a weird and serendipitous event the 2-Christmas System truly is. What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been Christmas has always been a weird holiday. Just 200 years…

A Romanian Christmas Carol

Well, folks, I’m still busier than a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad, but I’ve always got time to share my favorite Romanian Christmas carol. Sung by Ștefan Hrușcă, Romania’s most famous singer of Christmas music, the song is titled Afară ninge liniştit or “Outside, the snow is quietly falling.” Simply beautiful! Words: Afară ninge liniştit, Şi-n…

Moldovan Christmas, Part 2

Word Count: 981 As I promised in my post The Land of Perfect Christmas, I would report back to you about the festivities here on Orthodox Christmas, January 7. I was actually surprised by just how low-key the entire thing was, even though about 99% of Moldovans celebrate Orthodox Christmas in one way or another….

The Land of Perfect Christmas

I don’t remember very much about the year 1989, except for the end of it, when I found myself drunk and a little more than depressed on a cold December evening. It was Christmas Day, and I was in Israel. Officially, it isn’t a holiday, as most of the Arab Palestinians and all of the…

Merry Christmas!

I know it may seem strange to some but my all-time favorite television channel is the Weather Channel (in America). Sadly, there is no equivalent here in Europe so for my Christmas present to all of you, I decided to make one with all of the weather forecasts for today, December 25, 2013. In order:…

A Romanian Christmas Tale

Not that long ago, when some of our grandmothers and grandfathers were tiny children, most of Europe was controlled by one large royal family. One of those royals was born in Britain, speaking English, named Marie. She ended up marrying the German ruler of Romania at the time and, after his death, became queen in…

Word of the Day: Ajunul Craciunului

Certainly not a “slang” word but just one of those mysterious Romanian words with a shadowy and uncertain past, ajun simply means the day (or night) before an important event. In this case, Ajunul (“the day/night before”) Craciunului (“of the Christmas”) simply means the night/day before Christmas, or as it is said in English, Christmas…