customs in Maramures

 

marriage (notice the scepter) 

Traditions and customs are still part of daily life in Maramures. On Sunday and celebrations the elder population is dressed in their traditional costumes. Important moments of life such as birth, marriage and death are often kept in the traditional way or traditional elements remained during these events.  New houses are modern houses, but in front of this new house people still build their wooden gate, loaded with all kind of symbols. Symbols as the sun (birth, fertility) the rope (seen as a belt to keep family or community together), grapes or wine leaves (fertility, prosperity) teeth of the wolf (courage) are used in sculptures, on houses, gates or church. 

There are still a lot of customs part of daily life. Some of these customs should improve health and prosperity, others are to keep demons wild animals and misfortune away.

Sanziene 24 June

Differs a bit from the Apuseni Mountains. At the night before young people move in the mountains and make big fires. (This to keep the negative ghosts away) Some make a fire in the yard, put candles. They also make a crown from the sanziene flower, but here the girls wear the crown on their head in the church. The priest is using basil with sanziene flowers to bless the people.

Marriage:

The whole villages celebrates and a marriage in Maramures is very noisy and extremely colorful.

The road from the house of the girl to the church is swept clean.

There are 2 groups of people that go to the church (the family and friends of the groom and those of the bride). The groom has a rod, a kind of scepter, it is a branch strongly decorated and colored. This symbol shows or proves his fertility. The girl with her group comes along another road to the church and drinks at every gate with the people. They meet in front of the church. All symbols used are from now on in pairs, never a simple symbol. After the celebration in the church is the meal with are all kind of dances and at the end of the wedding (the next morning) people give the presents. There is a 'staroste' that collects the presents (often money) and often makes bad jokes or laughs at the people, (if they didn't give enough) but during the wedding this is accepted.

 

Winter celebrations:

Most of the celebrations and rites take place during winter. There are around New year and in spring all kind of fertility rites, dances, dances with masks and most of them are very old and have pagan roots. We could offer a special program around these winter celebrations.   

Tree with pots and pans:

You might see a tree decorated with pots and pans in the front yard of a house in a village. This means that there is a girl available for marriage in that house.

 

Wood sculpturing:

People in Maramures are masters in building and sculpturing wood. They still build new wooden churches and all connections are made without using any nails. You could visit, see or even learn how to make this connections or learn to sculpture.    

 

You can watch a short movie about Maramures:

 

 

What can we offer:

We can offer you a guided trip during these festivals. We can bring you around in the region, let you participate or let you attend these celebrations or rites. They could be combined with a hiking trip or other trip or a stay at our holiday houses.

 

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