Romania is located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The tradition in Romania is for children to travel from house to house on Christmas night singing carols and reciting poetry. Ancient legends are told and retold. According to custom, the leader carries a large wooden star called a Steaua, which is covered with shiny paper and decorated with bells and colored ribbon. A picture of the Holy Family is pasted in the star's center, and the entire creation is attached to a long pole. A lighted candle is placed inside to give the effect of a heavenly lantern.

A special cake, the delicious Turta, is made for Nosterea Domnului Isus, or Christmas Eve. It is composed of thin layers of rolled dough which represents the swaddling clothes of the Christ Child.

2000-02 by W. C. Egan

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