Collected in: Bistrița-Năsăud (Transilvania) by Ștefania Cristescu; at Șanț

Transilvania Detail Map
charm text

Collector's Categorization: [None]

Local Designation: de dragoste şi joc (for love and dance)

Informant: Ana Nistor (Iugan); F age 43, Illiterate

Translator(s): Sanda Golopentia, W. R.

Reference(s): Golopentia_1998/036 p. 118-121

Timing & Setting: [None] [V] [None] [T]

Inventory Items


Basil [T]


Cultivated positive (flowers) [T]


Wine [T]


Silver [T]


Gold [T]


Holy oil [T]


Water/Dew (water exposed to the sun) [V]


Clothes (white clothes) [T]


Holy (ledge of gold) [T]


Connected with death (năframă din buhaș) [T]


Clothes (smock of hate) [V]


Containers (new pot) [V]


Holy (ladder of silver, buccin of gold) [V]

The Charm (Romanian):

Meri dimineața la apă înschimbat ca-n sărbătoare. Faci struț de flori și iei oală noo — iei apă și-o pui între flori în grădinuță pînă vin radzăle soarelui piste ia. Descsânț de noo ori cu struț și te speli cu apa aia. Struțu faci cruce de cap de trii ori.

The Charm (English translation):

I woke in the morning
tucked up my white skirts 1
washed my face
prayed to God
and took off down the road
down Trajan's road 2
to the river Jordan
to the river of wine
with drops of holy oil
with a fringe of basil
to load myself full of love
and full of dancing.
I bathed in the river
came out on a ledge of gold
loaded myself with love
with the love of God
and the love of my lover.
I turned around
and there came toward me
ninety-nine youths
armed with weapons
ready for battle.
The instant they saw me
they called me sweetheart
kissed my hand
and danced with me at the head of the dance.
And all the wives saw
and all the girls
that I am the most honored.
They worked and set upon me
hateful hate
they wrapped my head
with a kerchief from a fir 3
they draped me in a smock of hate
blinded my eyes
wrenched my back
hobbled my feet
threw hate at me
and I became such
that when anyone saw me
they spat at me 4
and hated me.
I lamented with a full voice
no one on earth heard me
only the Mother of the Lord
from the gates of heaven
She heard me crying.
She came down on a ladder of silver
and with her holy mouth said:
— Why do you lament so loud
your mouth open wide?
I heard you
from the holy dwelling place.
I kissed Her hem
and told Her what happened to me.
— Don't cry, don't lament
for soon you'll be just as you were before. 5
I will take a gold bugle in my right hand
will trumpet to the four corners of the earth
will summon all the loves
and load you up with them.
This charm from me
the love and help
from the Holy Mother
and Christ the Lord.

In the morning you go to the river, changed as if for a feast. You cluster some flowers together and take with you a new pot, fetch water and put it among the flowers in the flower garden until the rays of the sun come over it. You charm nine times with the cluster and wash yourself with that water. With the cluster you make a cross on your head three times.

[modified on: 31 May 2006 18:38:40 by Sanda Golopentia]