most important non-religious national holidays are 27 August — Independence Day
and 31 August — Romanian Language Day.
and Russian are Moldova’s most-spoken languages. Although more young people are
learning English and French, it’s a good idea to bring a Romanian – or
Russian-language dictionary with you, especially outside Chisinau.
on the street usually don’t smile at strangers. But Moldovans are friendly and
hospitable once they get to know you. If they consider you a guest, they will
open their door wide, sit you down for a feast, pour you their best wines, and
— if you’re not careful — leave you with a three-day buzz.
vast majority of Moldovans are people of faith. About 86 percent are Christian,
according to the latest survey.
has two religious calendars — the New and Old Orthodox, with New Orthodox
observances coming a week or so earlier than the Old Orthodox ones. As you can
guess, the Orthodox Church follows the old calendar and non-Orthodox denominations
the new one. A new twist since independence is that many Moldovans observe both
calendars’ holidays. This means celebrating two Christmases and two New Year’s
— not a bad deal.
Moldovans expect guests coming to their homes to bring gifts. Sweets or bottles of wine are good choices — but almost anything thoughtful will be appreciated.