Maramures is one of the most abundantly traditional regions in the world. People of Maramures, called Moroseni, have a lasting close relationship with their traditions, which they conscientiously respect and treasure, handing them down from a generation to another.

It is incredible how some villages of Maramures have succeeded to perfectly depict the way of life of the olden days, not by imitating the past, but by keeping it throughout the years. What probably stimulated the people of Maramures to preserve and promote their own values in architecture, clothing, art and language is the fact that they come from a blend between a Romanian local upper-class and the peasant class. The result was a freeman class, spared from obligations and taxes. Therefore, the ancient customs were kept alive and pure. Lullabies, dances, traditional clothing, cuisine, as well as pottery crafting and woodworking of Maramures are often treasured in the studies of ethnographers around the world. Also, they are greatly admired by tourists.

First thing that comes into perspective everywhere in Maramures is the woodwork. This tradition of the wood is one of the things Morosenii are proud of. There are the renowned wooden-carved Maramures-style gates, the incredibly tall wooden churches and of course the people’s houses, with minuscule windows.

Maramures is the realm of celebration, be it a religious holiday or a mundane occasion; Morosenii live each of them intensely. At every event, all the people dress up in the traditional costumes and dance the traditional dances like the “Wheel” and the “Brides”, with the rhythms of violins, shouting and handclapping.

The people of Maramures are very spiritual and have their humor about them. Let’s not forget their unique and emblematic Merry Cemetery in Sapanta.

Morosenii consider the wedding the most important event of a person’s life. The event is spectacularly organized by the parents and the to-be-weds. Before the actual wedding, there are certain rituals that are always respected: readying the dowry and the costumes, picking the godparents, inviting everyone at the wedding, creating a wedding flag, spreading magic spells for fortune, giving blessings and obviously the big feast. Therefore, a Maramures wedding is a very complex event.

All through the year, the people of Maramures have something to celebrate in their unique ways. For Christmas and New Year’s Eve they go out caroling in their traditional costumes, singing ancient songs like “Steaua” or “Plugusorul” and doing the “Goat Dance”.

For Easter, after a long fasting, the Moroseni adorn eggs in the most beautiful ornaments.

Summer is full of festivals and cultural events. In autumn they celebrate the harvesting.

Actually, the best way to find out about Maramures’ culture is by going there, taking walks, eating, drinking, laughing and chatting with the villagers. That’s how tourists catch the archaic atmosphere of Maramu’.

 

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Stefania Tripe
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” ― Stephen King.

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