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Winter Customs - Carolling

5 December 2021, 12:00 – 15:00

ASTRA Open air museum


ASTRA Open air museum invites you to the carolling event taking place on Sunday, the 5th of December 2021, in the Multicultural Pavilion and at the homesteads from Rășinari and Sebeșu de Jos.

At the beginning of December, carol singers from Sebeșu de Jos and Rășinari will bring us the good news of God’s birth through their carols. The singers will be welcomed in the Multicultural Pavilion at the museum’s entrance, and will then all go together to the two homesteads included in the new exhibition circuit.


The holiday spirit of this last winter month will be brought to life by the carol singers’ voices, their carols still preserving pre-Christian beliefs, a sign of their transmission from generation to generation. In this manner, we will become more aware of how rich the year has been in terms of activities organized together with these two communities, who starting from June have welcomed us in the homesteads transferred to the museum from their villages.

There were three traditional fairs organized, each specific to a different season – spring, summer and autumn. Beekeepers and beeswax candle makers from Sebeșu de Jos have told us about their trade and the origin of the material used for making candles during several workshops: beekeeping, log hives cutting, honey extraction, candle making. Youngsters from the same village have presented a custom preserved from the 18th century, the chain dance from Rusca. Another custom re-enacted in the homestead from Sebeșu de Jos was that of the Tree of Life, a tree adorned with funeral bread, meant to help the souls of the people who have passed away. The funeral bread was prepared by village women, who also had a workshop for preparing a fasting meal.


Together with the community from Rășinari, crafts workshops were organized, showcasing aspects related to one of their traditional occupations: sheep raising. The following workshops were held: sheep shearing and wool processing, candle making from mutton tallow, a craft practiced in the village until the beginning of the 20th century. The traditional cooking workshops were centered around sheepfold food, butter making and mountain cheese.

Youngsters from Rășinari have presented Ascension and Midsummer customs. For Pentecost, local women from Rășinari have prepared verzare, traditional pies with cheese and dill. The re-enactment that has brought together the largest number of village people and visitors was the Shepherd’s Wedding.


On Sunday, the 5th of December, we will be thanking the two communities from Sebeșu de Jos and Rășinari for the joy with which they have animated the three monuments of the new exhibition circuit: the beeswax candle maker's homestead from Sebeșu de Jos, the shepherd's homestead and the sheepfold from Rășinari.

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