I wanted to go to the discovery of Romania, in the Maramures region in the border with Ukraine, with the guidance of a Romanian girlfriend. We will get to know Maramures with its unbeatable time-places, where fresh, clean air is breathed, where animals live in full freedom. The churches are all made of wood, where on some roads you can still see horse-drawn or strong buffalo wagons. The Big Animal Market in Ocna Sutagag. Few factories like fifty years ago. Life still follows a very ancient rhythm, marked by seasons and rites inspired by the mystery of nature.
They are offered to show their culture without having any problems because they want to make their land known to the whole world after the dark years of communism. They are very simple people.
In Romania, Orthodox Pasch is characterized by symbols and traditions that move small and large. In the long Easter wait one of the symbols that is prepared and given as a wish is the decorated egg: symbol of life and fertility itself has always been seen as a sign of resurrection. Their religion, Easter is fundamental because for Orthodox Christians is the most important period of the liturgical year, the resurrection of the Lord coincides with the awakening of nature and invites to the gathering and the renewal.
During the Holy Week, there are also the most important religious celebrations: on Thursday, the 12 Gospels are read, one for each hour of the day, while on Holy Saturday, in the evening, the whole community takes part in the procession followed by the suggestive midnight mass.
During Mass, the priest knocks three times at the main door of the church and announces the resurrection of Christ while the faithful hold in hand candles that must be brought home without leaving.
The particular holy Thursday is for the Romanians on the day of the dead and is called the “sea joy” (in Italian “big Thursday”). On this day they are brought to sweet church made with flour or boiled wheat covered with sugar and nuts, wine and fruit, which are offered in memory of the dead and distributed to the old and the poor.
The Udatoriu (is the village’s finest farmer) is chosen and appointed by a cheerful assembly composed by the men of the country and then carried away with a carriage mind musicians kick off dancing in costume and skill competitions in a triumph of genuine cheerfulness and colors in the traditional Maramures Marvelous Clothes and a party that goes on all day long. In the people’s smile, the wisdom of a different way of life, a harmony and a balance that our time has forgotten.