The Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse (Ziua Iei) is celebrated in June 22-24, all around the world.
The Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse has become a truly global event celebrated on six continents, 55 countries, 130 cities, and 200 events. In 2014, the movement grew exponentially, to almost 100,000 members, with an audience of millions of visitors mostly from Romania, the rest of Europe, and the United States.Last year, June 24 was officially recognized by the Mayor of Washington as the “Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse” in the US capital.
The Romanian blouse, ie by its original Romanian name, is not a simple traditional peasant blouse, but it became a symbol of Romania, with its legends, stories and deep significance.The ie (pronounced ee-eh) is a blouse, traditionally worn by Romanian girls and women. And it has overcome its traditional peasant confines, as it became an important source of inspiration for the fashion designers in Romania and abroad. High-ranking names such as Tom Ford based his 2012 collection on the Romanian traditional motifs.
The ie is entirely hand-made from a special fabric called approx. in English ‘sheer lawn’, with exquisite embroideries on the chest, back and sleeves, with designs preserved for centuries.
The signs and symbols embroidered on the Romanian blouse aren’t just random decorations, but each has its own significance, depending on the region, the seamstress, and the person who wore it. Every ie, along with the other items of the traditional folk costume, has its own story. Among the symbols embroidered on the blouse there is the tree or a tree-like design, which is the symbol of life, wisdom and rebirth.The circle or a sunflower represents the sun, day or Divinity; In the Romanian tradition, the sun was at the core of life and was often associated with God and abundance.Other motifs related to daily activities can be found ranging from one region to another: water (either as a river or as sea waves) and fish in the fishing villages along the rivers and sea coast, wheat or corn stems in agricultural villages, wheels or coin in crafting traders’ villages, and so on.At the same time, the colors on the blouse also vary according to the geographic region. Green and gold symbolize the plains, gray, red and brown for the mountains and blue for the rivers.For instance, in the past, young girls from the countryside, who were not married used to wear merry colors on their blouses, combinations of red, yellow, pink and light colors, while the dark ones- brown, black, dark green and gold were usually worn by older women, married and having a certain social statute.