(Minneapolis) – A lot of families have holiday traditions. What are yours?

If you lived in Romania, this time of the year you would most likely be caroling from door-to-door, wearing traditional costumes proudly passed down to you from the generations that came before, and enjoying festive meals with  your family, neighbors and friends.

This season, the Heritage Organization of Romanians in America (HORA) invites all to enjoy Romanian Christmas tradition—old customs, folklore, costumes, food and more—by visiting the Romanian exhibit at the American Swedish Institute and enjoying a Christmas concert at the annual Romanian Christmas party at St Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church.

Romania is this year’s special guest of the American Swedish Institute for the holiday festival - Fest! Merry Mansion- which runs through Jan. 8, 2018, and features elaborately decorated rooms celebrating the season. The American Swedish Institute (ASI), is located at 26700 Park Avenue in Minneapolis. ASI’s website is www.asimn.org.

The “Spinning Bee” display showcases mannequins spinning wool and weaving inside a traditionally decorated house from Oltenia/Muntenia. The “Christmas Dinner,” is a beautifully arranged table with traditional food and drinks and welcoming hosts from Transylvania. The “Carolers” scene shows a family from Bucovina gathered in front of the house and ready to sing Christmas carols.

“What is very unique about the exhibit is that all of the objects on display are real live museum quality artifacts from Romania. Members of our community have loaned the pieces from their private family collections for the exhibit. Many of the pieces are more than 100 years old and we are working toward a plan to have permanent display for our Twin Cities community,” said Gina Popa, who is a member of HORA’s Board of Directors.

Events

Sun., Dec. 3, starting at 2 p.m., there will be a performance by the Ciprian Porumbescu Choir.

Sun Dec. 10, starting at 2 p.m., there will be performances by the Ciprian Porumbescu Choir followed by the Plai de Dor women dance ensemble.

Wed., Dec. 13, beginning at 6 p.m., Orkestar Bez Ime, a six-member acoustic band, will perform colinde and other traditional Romanian music.

The Romanian Colinde Project

This holiday season, HORA is also hosting a concert – The Romanian Colinde Project - at the hall of St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, located at 3450 Irving Avenue South in Minneapolis. The concert is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Sat. Dec. 16, and will feature enchanted carols and old-world holiday traditions. To register, please visit: www.stringmuse.com/the-romanian-colinde-project.

The Romanian Colinde Project was arranged by Colleen Bertsch, who secured a Minnesota Arts Board grant to cover the cost of producing a Romanian Colinde concert. The event will feature the music of the six-person acoustic band, Orkestar Bez Ime, Peter O’Gorman,  Ciprian Porumbescu Choir, John Omorean and Romanian carolers. The event is free with a suggested free-will donation of $10 per person. A CD with selections of Colinde from the concert will be available for sale after the concert.

“I spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright scholarship working closely with both professional and village folk musicians and came to love the music and traditions of the Romanian people. I am excited to have this opportunity to share my knowledge and abilities with people in the Twin Cities,” said Bertsch.

EDITOR’S NOTE: HORA has plans to offer two media days, where staff will be available to show crews around the mansion, and also offer interviews. The media days will be offered on Sun., Dec. 3 from Noon – 3 p.m., and again on Sun., Dec. 10 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. To arrange a tour of the Romanian rooms at the American Swedish Institute, and/or interviews with Cleopatra Cabuz of the Heritage Organization of Romanians in Minnesota (HORA) and Colleen Bertsch, producer of The Romanian Colinde Project, please R.S.V.P. by contacting Rachel M. Anderson, Publicist, at 952-240-2513 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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