24th June - Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse

Every year, on June 24, The Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse is celebrated worldwide.

The date marks also the Midsummer Day - Sanzienele (Fairies Night) in Romanian folk beliefs. The legend says that "Sanzienele" (or Dragaicile) are good mysterious fairies, who gather on the day when the sun reaches the peak (the summer solstice), dressed in white long shirts and wearing crowns of yellow flowers. They dance in a circle - hora, giving special powers to the flowers and herbs, turning them into "medicinal herbs". Tradition says that the fairies have the power to ward off evil and disease.

The Romanian blouse, called ie, is a symbol of the Romanian identity and of the creativity withing the Romanian territory, lasting since the ancient times.

Over time, the Romanian blouse fascinated painters, photographers and people from the country and abroad. Princess Ileana, Princess Elena, Queen Mary are among the royal personalities who proudly wore the Romanian traditional costume.

With wide sleeves, traditional motifs and natural colors, the blouse became also an important source of inspiration for famous fashion designers, such as Tom Ford and Jean Paul Gaultier, and it recently started receiving more and more international fame, being a symbol of Romania!

The ie is entirely hand-made, being woven by countryside women from a specific white fabric, with exquisite embroideries on the chest, back and sleeves, with designs preserved for centuries. The patterns and symbols embroidered on the Romanian blouse have a specific significance, depending on the geographic region. Among the symbols embroidered on the blouse, we can find the tree-like design, which is the symbol of life, wisdom and rebirth. The fir tree is particularly drawn on the Romanian blouse, especially in the mountain rural areas, symbolizing the immortality, a motif seldom found in Romanian mythology. The circle or a sunflower represents the sun, day or Divinity. Other motifs related to daily activities can be found ranging from one region to another.

At the same time, the colors on the blouse can also vary according to geographic region or the age of the person wearing it. The married and elder women would wear toned-down colours, while the younger would wear bright colours.

Nowadays, in an attempt to turn to authentic values, younger women find the Romanian blouse fashionable and integrate it creatively intro their casual style clothes.