In Romania, the customs and superstitions surrounding death stem from a blend of beliefs with preserved, pre-Christian elements as well as more current and predominantly Orthodox Christian beliefs.
The Romanians have many superstitions about when the looming arrival of death will occur, some of which include the unexpected breaking of furniture or mirrors.
Others involve unusual and inappropriate sounds that certain animals might emanate, such as when a hen crows like a cock or a dog’s howling.
For Romanians, Death is especially lurking in the shadows when a house has both a sick person and a dog residing in it, and things become especially serious if the dog keeps its head down while howling and digging near the house.
Additionally, the nearness of Death grows if the ill person keeps his or her eyes fixed upon his or her nails or upon a wall.
Romanians also view owls as “death birds”, and their calls hold the title of being the most powerful omen for death.
A series of many rituals — some even dating back to Roman times — occur during the process of death in order to alleviate some of the superstitions surrounding death.To prepare for the final journey, loved ones open doors and cover water pails to allow the spirit and death to escape (but prevent the spirit from falling and drowning).Once the bathing of the body (also tradition) is complete, loved ones leave water at the feet so the soul can have a chance to bathe.Strands of hair are collected so they can be secretly placed on the door, since Luck’s origin is never certain.Much detail goes into the preparation of bodies for vigils and funerals.Clothing varies depending on how old people are when they die.