6. Customs and Celebrations

The people of Maramureş know how not to forget their ancient traditions. Rural life in Maramureş is timed in accordance with the agricultural calendar and the main Christian events. The year begins with New Year and Epiphany rituals. Spring is dedicated to the celebration of the hardest working villager, the first who ploughs the field (Tânjaua of Mara, Udătoriu of Şurdeşti), and the Holy Easter. During summer days, the villagers of Maramures work hard from dawn to dusk, but they can also leave work behind for the great holidays, such as Assumption Day and the days dedicated to saints. In autumn, the villagers celebrate the crop harvests: gathering at village dances, the youngsters dance frenetically to fiddlers' tunes. Such celebrations last until Lăsata Secului (last day before the Nativity Fast), which marks the beginning of the preparations for Christmas, one of the most beautiful holidays of the year, when the Maramureş valleys reverberate with the voices of carollers.

The Christian holidays, with their fasting and prayers, intermingle with folk rituals and beliefs such as finding one's soul-mate, chasing bad spirits, harvesting crops, or rituals for a healthy marriage. All these create a fascinating and miraculous world. And when combined with joy, round dances, and singing, the complete show becomes exquisite to the overseas tourists regardless of the season in which they visit these places.

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