Comenius 2008-2010 Multilateral Project

This site is an outcome of the Comenius 2008-2010 multilateral project "European Journey Through Legends".


"Becoming more European does not mean forgetting our national cultural heritage, but sharing it with other European nation".

The legend of the three Fates

The three Fates are good fairies. They are a special kind of fairies, who come three days after the baby is born and foretell his/her future (baby’s destiny). 


The legend says that Alexander the  Great  had in his possession life-giving water. The water got stolen by three female servants who drank it. From that moment on, they became immortal and God made them foretell people’s lives.





The fates


fragment from Musat and the fates, by Mihai Eminescu

Three white shadows from the dark emerge
Whispering as they go by,
Arround the cradle they converge.

Raising their hands towards the sky,
Like bending in the wind, so light,
Cast spell to fall asleep the child nearby.

They’re fates who, using their insight,
Convey, like ancient magi,
To the sleeping child, his life’s design.

Of all their gifts, none him deny,
As faint rays of light, divine,
Spring from their mesmeric eyes and fly.


Belief in fate, in their power to construct fate of each man was and still is widespread and entrenched among the Romanian people, being inherited from the Romans. There are three fairies that come in so-called odd nights (3, 5, 7) of the first week of newborn child's life to fortell the child's future destiny.They say that in ancient times, even the midwives who look after the newborn child could fortell newborns' destiny. Unfortunately, because midwives have confided this secret, nowadays they no longer have that gift.

In Transylvania there is still the tradition, as the midwife who helps the child's birth, even though he was born in hospital, to put in the room where the child sits, a white new one linen, a bowl with flour, salt, a bread, a penny and a wool beat . After 3 days and 3 nights if the 3 fates arrived, the midwife and parents will see the trace of fate on flour.

In Banat, Moldova and Wallachia at 3 days after birth, the family prepare a big meal for the 3 fates: bread, a chicken, wine, and three pennies, because they have the belief that they must be well feasting and well paid to fortell a   good fate for the newborn.

In Greece, the fates (Moirai) have the subtle but awesome power of deciding a man's destiny, too. Those three fates are the daughter of the goddess of Necessity, Themis. They are also called the Moirai to denote their descent from Moira, the original goddess of Fate. They are not to be confused with the Furies, who are the daughters of Nyx (Night). They laugh at our feeble attempts to cheat them because they always prevail. They are also known as the Moiras or Keras.They are often confused with the Roman goddesses, the Morae.They assign a man to good or evil. Their most obvious choice is choosing how long a man lives. There are three Fates. Clotho, the spinner, who spins the thread of life. Lachesis, the measurer, who choses the lot in life one will have and measures off how long it is to be. Atropos, she who cannot be turned, who at death with her shears cuts the thread of life.


The Fates are old and predate the gods. It is not entirely clear how far their power extends. It is possible that they determine the fate of the gods as well. In any case, not even the most powerful is willing to triffle with them.

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