H is or Hora



Hora, a traditional dance in the Balkans, but popular in other countries — Israel, for one — comes close to a national treasure in Romania.

What is a hora? A folk dance where the dancers hold each other’s hands and the circle spins, usually counterclockwise. You’ll get a huge adrenaline rush in a hora. Oh, boy, is it fun! Three steps forward, one step back. Sometimes fast, others slow. As a kid, I loved the fast spins.

The dance is accompanied by the accordion, violin, viola. And other instruments. If not happening in a formal setting, hand clapping will do.

Most Romanian weddings have hore. From the youngest to the oldest participant, everyone joins in. It’s a big part of the entertainment in rural weddings, but also in the cities.


Wedding hora

One of the most famous Romanian hore is Hora Unirii (Hora of the Union), a Romanian patriotic song. It became the national hymn when Wallachia and Moldavia united to form the Principality of Romania in 1859.


Hora of the Union 1859

During the 2006/2007 New Year’s celebration, when Romania joined the European Union, people started an impromptu Hora Bucuriei (Hora of Joy) in the streets of Bucharest as a tribute to the EU anthem, Ode to Joy.

Let’s join hands

To go round the dance of brotherhood

Going back, hora is a Romanian dance inherited from Dacians (before Romans) that gathers all the dancers in a big circle. It symbolizes spiritual communion, equality and the wish for a happy and joyful life. 


A good hora can do wonders for the mood. So, snap your fingers with me, and let’s go … three steps forward, one step back, cu bucurie.

With joy.


Thank you for staying with me thus far. Community makes blogging so much more fun. Tomorrow, we have I for Interrelated, because as Dr. King said, “All life is interrelated.” Hope to see you then.


Images: Hora De Mana – Hora Romaneasca Dance Group – YouTube More
http://www.youtube.com; maxresdefault.jpg, youtube.com; Hora (Dance) of Unity — The Unity Dance at Craiova, 1857, Theodor Aman


30 responses to “H is or Hora

  1. Done this dance many times at Jewish weddings and other celebrations. Didn’t realize it crossed into a Romanian tradition as well. Great dance Silvia, lots of fun.

  2. Just reading about it makes me smile! There’s such a joy about it in celebration of weddings and community. Thank you!

    Garden of Eden Blog

  3. Haven’t heard this one before. Great share. Sounds like fun!

  4. What fun! I never knew this dance was anywhere but Israel. It has certainly been fun at every Jewish wedding I’ve been too, joyous and happy.

    • This dance is all over East Europe, especially when you travel outside big cities. Very similar to the dance in Israel, the difference being the Romanian hora doesn’t involve a chair. Thanks, Noelle.

  5. There are several hora dances in Israeli folk dancing, ranging from simple to quite complicated. I love them all. Didn’t know about the Romanian connection. Now I have another reason for visiting Romania.

  6. Sounds so fun. We heard Romanian music last night at the high school concert. I thought of you.
    Play off the Page

  7. I’ve seen people do it, and I’ve done a version of it at a wedding. It is fun!

  8. This dance seems so joyful, so full of community. In a college class on Teaching Methods of Physical Ed., we learned this dance. I got dizzy, had to drop out. But it was delightful.

  9. Ah! I love it. As a hobby ballroom dancer, I get into so many cultural dances and am fascinated by the history behind them. I love how dance can bring people together.

  10. Interesting posts, congratulations. Stopping by on the 9th day of the #atozchallenge and spent enjoyable time with you. If you have time or interest, I am writing about gardening and related topics. Come visit.

  11. I also love ballroom dancing but as a child of Scottish ancestory we used to do a bit of Scottish Dancing. The Hora looks much more fun and really gets everyone involved. No wall flowers there. Cheers Irene

  12. I’m Jewish so very familiar with Hora – at my wedding many decades ago the men lifted my dad up in a chair and danced around with him :D

  13. I didn’t know about this as it relates to Romania — thank you for sharing!


  14. I’ve seen the dance before, but never knew what it was called, or where it originated. Looks like it would be a lot of fun!

  15. That kind of sounds like the Greek dances I’ve seen at weddings. Romania and Greece are pretty close together, so that probably explains it. Cool post.

  16. Yes I love this dance…done the Jewish and Greek versions would love to dance it in Romania…I’m a big dancer when I hear music, even if it’s just me. :)
    Loving the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

  17. I hope I get to dance the hora some day. It sounds like so much fun!

  18. This sounds like a lot of fun and it does make one smile. :)

  19. Thanks for teaching me about Hora. Somehow I’ve never heard of it before, but now I want to learn more. Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate happy occasions.

  20. Hi Silvia .. the Hora sounds just amazing and I love the twirling of the folk type clothes .. but you’ve made it into a blogging community dance ..

    They are fun … lovely feeling post – I can feel and hear the dancing .. cheers Hilary

  21. Hi Silvia. A very interesting post. Thanks for visiting. Happy Blogging A to Z.


  22. I love the various folk dances of different countries. Thanks for sharing!

    Donna B. McNicol
    A to Z Participant

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