The Great Holy Martyr Gheorghe, as it appears in the Orthodox Christian Calendar, is one of the most holy saints and celebrates each year on April 23rd. In popular tradition, it is known as San-George or Sangiorz and celebrates for three days: Eve, Day, and on the third day is celebrated St. George’s Horse. This celebration marks the beginning of the pastoral year and has countless agrarian, pastoral, divinatory and augural meanings.

On the eve of the celebration of St. George, on April 22, called the Sangiorz cows or Alesul, there are a series of customs that mark the beginning of the pastoral year, being a feast of the shepherds and the choice of the shepherds, the place of  the sheepfold, and preparing the sheep for the first milking and preparing the first cheese.

The houses are decorated with: pear branches in Muntenia, lovage leaves in Transylvania, Beech leaves or oak in Banat and they are meant to protect the undead.

In the past, there were a series of habits and superstitions that today are no longer preserved:

  • People bathing into a running water before the sun rises to be healthy all year,
  • They did not sleep all day to avoid being sleepy all year long
  • They collected and put the garbage at the roots of the trees to have many fruits
  • On the morning of the 23rd, unmarried girls went to the woods without anyone seeing them and picked up the matraguna they put in the attic, believing they would have rich suitors.


The dordecasa team wishes to all those who bear the name of Saint George a sincere “Happy Name Day!”, even if they will celebrate on the second Easter day.