People Religions Language Public Holidays Education
Foreign visitors consider Romanians among the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth. Romanians are by nature fun loving, warm, hospitable, playful, with an innate sense of humor.
Romania is associated with big names in arts and sports: Constantin Brancusi — one of the most acclaimed modern sculptors. Angela Gheorghiu, one of the world’s greatest opera soprano – www.angelagheorghiu.com Alexandra Nechita — a young Romanian painter living in California, known for her distinct style. For more info about Alexandra and her art please visit: http://alexandranechita.com/
Ilie Nastase — Twice ranked as the world’s number one men’s player in the early 1970s, Ilie Nastase won two Grand Slam singles titles during his illustrious career – the US Open in 1972 and the French Open in 1973. One of the greatest touch players of the post-war era, Nastase was runner-up at Wimbledon in 1972 and 1976 and, in all, he won 57 career singles titles and 51 doubles titles. Nastase is still one of crowd’s favorites at the U.S. Open.
Radu Lupu – If there’s one pianist who challenges you to hear classical music in a whole new way, it’s Radu Lupu. Since winning the Van Cliburn Competition in 1966, he’s gained a loyal following for his idiosyncratic interpretations that always explore the complex emotions behind the music. (Attribution: www.carnegiehall.org ) More about Radu Lupu »
Nadia Comaneci – Romanian Gymnast, Montreal Perfect 10Nadia Comaneci — A gymnastics legend, stunning the world with her skills on the uneven bars, the first in the world to score a perfect 10. Nadia is practically single-handedly responsible for the popularity of gymnastics as a sport, thanks to sweeping the Olympics for gold medals in her youth.
Other world renowned Romanian artists include the writer Eugen Ionesco, pan flute virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir and musician George Enescu.
About 19,500,000 people live in Romania. Ethnic breakdown is 89% Romanian 7.5% Hungarian, 1.9% Gypsy, German, Ukrainian, Armenian, Croatian, Serbian and Turkish. More than 55% of Romania’s population lives in towns and cities. There are 263 towns in Romania out of which 25 have a population of more than 100,000 while 8 cities count more than 300,000 inhabitants. 45 % of Romanians live in rural areas: 2,868 communes and 13,285 villages. The administrative divisions are called “judet” (county). There are 41 counties in Romania. The capital city, Bucharest, has the status of a county. Bucharest — the capital of Romania has a population of more than 2,200,000.
Eastern Orthodox 78%
Greek Catholic 10%
Roman Catholic 5%
Unitarian, Jewish, other
Language Romanian, a Latin based language which is a continuation of the Latin spoken in ancient times in Dacia and Moesia — the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. A 31-letter Latin alphabet is in use. Ethnic minorities (Hungarian and German) use their own languages in school and civil administration. Literacy rate in Romania is 98%. Most Romanians living in towns and cities are able to communicate in English, French or German. In smaller villages only younger people and children usually speak foreign languages.
• Around 80% of Romanians speak at least one foreign language
• 25% of Romanians speak at least 2 foreign languages
• 4% of Romanians speak more than 3 foreign languages
Official non-working holidays
|Date||Local name||English name||Remarks|
|January 1||Anul Nou||New Year’s Day|
|January 2||Anul Nou||Day after New Year’s Day|
|April/May||Paștele||Easter||The official holiday is the Orthodox Easter. The holiday is three days long, the Easter Sunday and Monday are non-working, Tuesday is not a public Holiday.|
|May/June||Rusaliile||Pentecost, Whit Monday||Both 50th and 51st days after the Orthodox Easter.|
|May 1||Ziua Muncii||Labour Day||International Labour Day|
|August 15||Adormirea Maicii Domnului||Dormition of the Theotokos||Also the Day of the Romanian Naval Forces since St. Mary is the patron saint of the Navy|
|November 30||Sfântul Andrei||St. Andrew’s Day||Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Romania|
|December 1||Ziua Națională (Ziua Marii Uniri)||National holiday (Great Union Day)||It celebrates the Union of Transylvania with Romania.|
|December 25/26||Crăciunul||Christmas||Both first and second Christmas Day are holidays. Third Christmas Day is not a public holiday.|
Other working holidays and observances
|January 24||Unification Day (Ziua Unirii)||Not a public holiday – it celebrates the day of the political union between Wallachia and Moldavia (when Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected ruler of both principalities), the foundation of modern Romania.|
|March 8||Women’s Day||Not a public holiday|
|Last Sunday in March||Earth Hour||Not a public holiday|
|First Sunday in April||NATO Day||Not a public holiday – observed by the Government institutions|
|April 22||Earth Day||Not a public holiday|
|May 9||Victory Day/Europe Day||Not a public holiday – Romania celebrates the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945. Also, starting 2007, Romania observes Europe Day.|
|May 10||Independence Day||Not a public holiday – it celebrates both Romania’s victorious independence war against the Ottoman Empire in 1877-1878.|
|May/June||Heroes’ Day (Ascension)||The 40th day from the Orthodox Easter. Not a public holiday – observed with military and religious festivities at the monuments dedicated to the national heroes (such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier)|
|June 1||Children’s Day||Not a public holiday|
|June 26||National Flag Day||Not a public holiday|
|July 29||National Anthem Day||Date when Deşteaptă-te, române! was first performed, in 1848 at Râmnicu Vâlcea – not a public holiday|
|August 23||Liberation from Fascist Occupation Day/Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Fascism and Communism||National holiday until 1990. On 23 August 1944, King Michael I joined with pro-Allied opposition politicians and led a successful coup against Conducător of Romania, Marshal Ion Antonescu‘s fascist government. Romania joins the Allies and participates alongside the Red Army in liberating Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria from Nazi occupation. Since 2011, Romania observes the European Day for Commemoration of the Victims of Totalitarian and Authoritarian regimes, also as a reminder of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact signed on this day in 1939.|
|October 25||Armed Forces Day||Not a public holiday. Observed by the Romanian Army and its veterans on the anniversary of the liberation of Carei, the last Romanian city under horthyst-fascist occupation during World War II. Also the birthday of King Michael I|
|December 8||Constitution Day||Date when the referendum on the Romanian Constitution was held in 1991 thus establishing the first democratic Republic.|
|December 21||Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Communism in Romania||Marks the peak of the victorious Romanian Revolution of 1989 and commemorates the victims who fell in the violent street confrontations between 16 and 27 December.|
Traditional holidays – working observances
|February 24||Dragobetele||similar to St. Valentine’s Day|
|March 1||Mărțișorul||Spring festival|
Romania has over 100 universities, and the country annually produces some 30,000 engineering graduates; 8,000 earn their degrees in IT sciences