Rusu [Abstract]

Celebrating the royal liturgy within the national calendrical memory – The politics of festive time in the Romanian Kingdom, 1866–1947
[Full text]

Mihai Stelian Rusu [1]

Abstract:  The paper analyzes the calendrical struggles over mastering symbolic time in Romanian modern history by scrutinizing the logic of constructing, deconstructing, and reconstructing a temporal order made up of political holidays celebrated within a festive calendar. It looks, first, at how the constitutional monarchic political order established in 1866 with the enthronement of Carol I as Ruling Prince of Romania developed a royal festive calendar pillared on the National Day of the 10th of May. By analyzing the making of the royal temporal order organized within a national festive calendar, three techniques of calendrical construction are identified and detailed: a) calendrical shifting, b) calendrical concentration, and c) celebrative sequencing employed for framing temporal coincidence and staging festive density. After presenting how the festive calendar was articulated using these techniques for the purpose of legitimating the monarchic order, the paper goes on to address how the Socialist republican regime established in the aftermath of the Second World War tried and succeeded not only in abolishing the dynastic monarchy through a political revolution but also in overthrowing the entire royal calendar of political celebrations through a symbolic revolution in the politics of festive time. The paper identifies four techniques of calendrical deconstruction used by the Socialist regime to destructure the royal festive calendar and supplant it with a republican one: a) calendrical decentering, b) calendrical concentration, c) symbolic downgrading, and d) shifting the celebrative weight. In exploring these techniques of calendrical construction and deconstruction, the study underscores the power struggles intrinsic to organizing festive time. The paper ends with highlighting the crucial importance played out by commemorations, ceremonials, and festivities by which social time is politically structured and ritually punctuated in legitimizing political power.

Keywords: National holidays, politics of time, political liturgy, Romanian Kingdom, sociology of culture

[1] Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania,