Foodie traditions: Mucenici and 40 glasses of wine

Daniela Vasilache tells us about an interesting Romanian tradition.

Daniela Vasilache
26th February 2021
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Mucenici is the most delicious food related holiday, celebrated every year in Romania.

This holiday has religious roots. On the 9 March, the Orthodox Church celebrates the 40 Martyrs (known as "the Mucenici"). They were soldiers who were tortured and executed because they refused to apostatize their Christian belief. After they died, they became saints. 

Mucenici is a special dessert, made in the shape of the number eight

Now let’s get back to the actual food. Mucenici is a special dessert, made in the shape of the number eight. This is significant because eight could represent the infinity symbol or a stylised human form of the martyrs. 

There are two types of Mucenici: the Moldavian ones, made from a dough, on top of which is sweet syrup, cinnamon and crushed nuts. The other type consists of small mucenici, which are used to make a sweet soup, also served with cinnamon and nuts. 

40 glasses of wine should be drunk during this day

The most interesting fact about this holiday is the legend, according to which 40 glasses of wine should be drunk during this day. The high number, you probably guessed, represents the saints. The belief behind this legend is that the wine will transform itself into blood.

So, if you wish to taste some astonishing desserts or just want an excuse to drink more alcohol than usual, you should consider adding this celebration to your food holidays list.

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