Romanian Culture: A World of Its Own

Learn About Dracula, Easter Eggs and Folk Costumes

Hay and mist
••• Noam Mymon / Getty Images

Romanian culture sets itself apart from other cultures in the East European region just as it shares some elements with them. Romania's Dracula legend and its Dacian history are unique to Romania. On the other hand, Romania's Easter egg traditions and folk costumes bear some similarities with those of nearby countries. Folk costumes are not entirely just for celebrations; while most of the residents of cities dress in current Western style, many in rural areas still wear traditional dress. Roma, or Gypsies, are regarded as outsiders and generally live separate from the rest of the population, on the edges of urban areas. They, too, dress in more traditional and colorful garb. 

Below is an overview of some of the aspects of Romanian culture such as Romania's flag, its ancient history, and folk art. Get ideas for souvenirs you might find when you visit Romania and learn about other aspects of this country you'll encounter on your travels. 

  • 01 of 09

    Romanian Flag

    Flag of Romania
    ••• Flag of Romania. Ufuk Zivana © 2006

     The flag of Romania is three wide vertical stripes of blue, yellow and red. The stripes stand for Moldova and Walachia, which joined to form Romania in 1859. Romania has had several flag designs; this most current one was adopted in December 1989 after the fall of Romania's communist government.

  • 02 of 09
    Girls National Romanian Folk Dress
    ••• Girls dressed in national Romanian folk clothing. CC BY-NC Basil & Tracy

    Romanian folk costumes vary from region to region and may be worn for holidays and festivals. Traditional dancers also don folk costumes for their performances.

  • 03 of 09
    Christmas Lights in Sibiu, Romania
    ••• Christmas Llghts in Sibiu, Romania. iStockphoto/boerescul

    While city dwellers no longer fatten a Christmas pig, most Romanians still keep up the tradition of eating pork for Christmas. Romania also has strong Christmas caroling customs that reference Romanian folklore.

  • 04 of 09

    Easter in Romania

    Romanian Decorated Eggs
    ••• Romanians elaborately decorate eggs for Easter. Radu Razvan © 2007

    Carefully decorated Romanian Easter eggs are an important feature of this springtime holiday. Some Romanian cities also celebrate with an annual Easter market. Look for Easter eggs and other crafts at these markets and expect cities and towns in Romania to be decorated for this important springtime holiday.

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  • 05 of 09
    Winter at Bran Castle
    ••• Winter at Bran Castle. iStockphoto/AurelianGogonea

    Despite popular culture's fantastic treatment of Dracula, this bloodthirsty leader was a real person. Sights throughout Romania, like Bran Castle, are associated with Vlad the Impaler, and tours and events focus on his legacy. You can also explore Romania's region of Transylvania, with legends and hauntings of its own.

  • 06 of 09

    Bucovina

    Sucevita Painted Monastery
    ••• The Sucevita painted monastery in Bucovina. iStockphoto/Octavian Babusi

    Bucovina, a region in Romania, is famous for its painted monasteries and other historic buildings, as well as its natural landscape. These unusual buildings are a must stop on a trip to Romania.

  • 07 of 09

    Christmas in Romania

    Christmas in Bucharest
    ••• Christmas in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. CC-BY-SA Răzvan Băltărețu

    Romania's centuries-old cities become even more majestic during the Christmas holidays when Christmas trees and lights make historic centers glow and snow frosts architecture from past centuries. Christmas markets make their appearances in historic city centers, where you'll have the opportunity to buy handmade gifts and decorations.

  • 08 of 09
    Martisor
    ••• Martisor. CC BY Public Domain Photos

    Martisor is celebrated on March 1. Romanians give each other amulets by the same name to show their appreciation for each other. This tradition welcomes springtime and is similar to Bulgaria's ​martinitsa holiday.

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  • 09 of 09
    Easter Eggs from Bucovina
    ••• Easter eggs from Bucovina, Romania. CC-BY-SA KLMircea

    Easter is an important holiday on the Romanian calendar. This day is marked with family gatherings, special foods and the decoration of Easter eggs in traditional Romanian style. Visit Easter markets for a taste of some of these generations-old customs. You can also buy crafts made with techniques developed over hundreds of years.