Delta is a complex area due to the variety of natural
heritage, biodiversity, and also because of the
32 villages, including 25 inside the reservation,
hosting a population of approximately 27,000 inhabitants.
Amon those Sulina is the only one which is a city,
encompassing over 20% of the population in the
Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation.
Other localities are merged into 7 communes located
entirely within the reserve (Ceatalchioi, Pardina,
Chilia Veche, CA Rosetti, Crisan, Maliuc and St.
George), 3 villages that are on BRDD teritory but
belong to neighboring communes (Bestepe with Baltenii
Lower and Lower Ilganii Nufaru with Murghiol with
Uzlina) and 7 villages located in Constanta.
These villages are mostly concentrated along the
Danube branches and occupy small areas of land
due to small areas of land that can not be flooded.
Population density is about 3.5 inhabitants / km ².
List of ethnic groups, according to the 2002 census
Romanians: 12 666 persoane (87%)
Russians, Lipoveni: 1 438 persoane (10%)
Ukrainians: 299 persoane (2%)
Other ethnicities: (1%)
- Germans :
- Ather ethnic: 12 .
For residents of the Delta, the main and oldest
occupation is fishing. Fish represent an important
source of food and income that helps them to
survive. Although this activity has lately experienced
a setback , fishing is still the main concern,
especially in places such as Crisan, Mile 23,
Gorgova and Saint George.
The second major occupation of the inhabitants of
the Delta is the livestocking, which evolved from
an initial temporal activity (transhumance) to a
full time occupation These are some of the villages
that are traditional places for this kind of activity:
Letea, Periprava, C.A.Rosetti, Sfistofca si Caraorman.
Processing reed and cattail, remains one of the main
activities in the Delta. Reed is traditionally used
as an energy source for building houses, weaving
the rush to produce mats, baskets of different sizes,
blinds, walls, fences, etc.
The gathering and blending of different ethnicities
and cultures, Romans, Lipovani Bessarabian Germans,
Moldavians, Bulgarians, etc., in different stages
of history, even before the eighteenth century, definined
a distinct personality of the area in relation to
the rest of Dobrogea.
- Lazarelul - currently practiced
on Palm Sunday in towns with predominantly Greek
population. The legend involes a man named Lazarus,
who dies in an accident while he was in the forest
to bring food for the animals. His mother and maidens
of the village are mourning him, while from his
tomb a tree with many branches appears.
- Olaria -
Also called Hurhumbalu. The custom is to ignite
fires in the hills of plant debris, symbolizing
the purification of old vegetation in order to
make way for a new and thriving vegetation. Rolling
hills of wagon wheels wrapped in burning straws,
symbolizing the sun in the sky, and purification
of all that was bad for the community.
- Caloianul - practiced after
Easter, is the production of a clay doll, which
was buried in the field, and then after a period
of time to be exhumed, broken into pieces and scattered
on the field, symbolizes fertility, abundance of
crops and the regeneration of vegetation.
- Paparuda -
consists of a
water splashing a group of young or older women,
adorned with flowers and green branches that enter
a court yard. Young or older ladies, they dance
and sing for rain, and are watered by the host
or between them.
- Ursul, Brezaia, Capra - practiced
on Christmas Eve - habits of singing carols with
masks, still practiced in the villages of Niculitel,
Valea Teilor Greci Enisala.
- Oleleu - takes place on Christmas
Eve and it is practiced by groups of boys that
hit the ground with their bells, standing in a
circle or semicircle in front of the house or household
gate seeking protection from evil spirits. The
custom is still practiced in the Macin area.
- Plugusorul si Colindatul - are
general habits practiced by the Romanians during
the winter holidays. Agricultural tradition with
deep roots in the Romanian spirituality, plow is
a coarol, a agrarian rant, with theatrical elements
on the subject of hard work to get bread. The plow,
decorated with colored paper, ribbons, napkins,
flowers, arises, even a tree, is the main atraction
- Sorcova - is usually practiced
by children, the first day of New Year (St. Basil).
They wear a sprig of a tree or a sorcova made from
a stick around which colored paper flowers are
woven. Sorcova plays the role of a magic wand,
endowed with the ability to transmit strench and
energy to the targeted person. The same custom
was practiced in anciet times with is a apple ram.
It was placed in water the night Saint Andrew until
the day of St. Basil, when it would bloom. This
explains why the lyrics of Romanian carols make
refrences to white flowers, apple blossom, or about
- drills - practiced on New
Year's Eve by children who move from house to house
and throw grains of wheat, saying words of praise
in hope of prosperity.
- Boboteaza -
A custom that
serves as rite for youg men who have to recover
a cross thrown in the water.
- Dragobetele - Dragobetele -
is a celebration with slavic origins
Celebrated in some places and our country on 24
(Glovo-Obretania) or 28 February, 1 March and 25
March, the number given in the area caused by the
use of two calendars (Julian and Gregorian). This
holiday marks the rebirth of nature, and the man
who, on this occasion is to renew. It is a celebration
of the revival of vegetation, of life, hapiness.
- Martisor - Martisor is a little
piece of ornament tied with a red and wihte string,
which appears in the Roman tradition and some neighboring
populations. Women and girls receive them, on the
first of March, and wear them during March, as
a sign of spring arrival. Together with Martisor,
early spring flowers are offered, the most rep
resentative being snowdrop. In Dobrogea martisorul
was not taken off until the arrival of cranes,
then was thrown to the sky in a symbolic gesutre.