Participation in the religious and folk celebrations
People of Maramureș sacredly keep (through fasting and prayer) Christian celebrations, which are here intertwined with folk rituals and beliefs, with agricultural traditions and are often accompanied by events where people dance in couples or take part in round-dances. In addition to the old habits of New Year, Palm Sunday, Easter, Pentecost, Virgin Mary, Christmas and other major Christian celebrations, there are some traditional secular events, that are still being held every year in Maramureș. Here are some of them:
1. Tânjaua de pe Mara (Agricultural tradition around Mara river)
What is it: One of the oldest folk events of Maramureș, dating back to 1870. This tradition celebrates the first man of the village who plows his field.
When: During the first Sunday of May
Where: Hoteni village
2. Jocul la șură (Dancing at the barn)
What is it: The whole village dances on folk music interpreted by local musicians.
When: In August, in three consecutive Sundays
Where: Breb, Sat Șugatag and Hoteni
3. Nu vă uitaţi că-s micuţ (Don’t disregard me because I am little)
What is it: Celebration for children; the village of Budești on Cosău valley gathers groups of children from throughout Maramureș offering them the chance to sing and dance.
When: During the first and second day of Pentecost
4. Festivalul gulașului (Goulash Festival)
What is it: Contest between amateur and professional chefs who compete to cook the tastiest goulash – or gulyás, a traditional Hungarian dish. The word “gulyás” means “cattle herder” in Hungarian, and the first recipe explaining how this dish is prepared dates back to the 18th century. The recipe has been preserved very well over time: the ingredients and the way they are combined have remained almost unchanged. After the competition, the winner is announced and everyone drinks horincă (traditional local brandy) and tastes the delicious food.
Where: Ocna Șugatag
5. Festival of Winter Traditions and Customs
What is it: An event organized every year since 1968, whose purpose is to preserve and pass on the winter customs and traditions; besides people from Maramureș, the festival also welcomes customs from other regions of the country and across the borders, especially from Bistrița-Năsăud, Oaș, Bucovina, Ukraine, but also from Banat, Dobrogea, Oltenia.
When: 27 decembrie
Where: Sighetu Marmației