Winter Festival in Moldavia, Romania (Dec 1997 - Jan 1998)
Christmas (Craciun) and New Year (Anul Nou) are celebrated from 24 December to 7 January. Preparations start as early as 6 December when pigs are slaughtered for the coming festivities. Groups of youngsters come out to sing and dance from door to door. The Colinde are allegorical songs wishing good health and prosperity for the people of the village. Meanwhile the Orthodox priest struggles through the mud from house to house to bless the inhabitants and their belongings.