Festivals and events
1 January – New Year’s Customs:
In the villages of Maramureş, the New Year's Day overflows with customs and beliefs; children are the actors of “the Goat Dance” and “the Star”, maidens practice rituals related to finding their soul mate, youngsters steal and twist gates to trick people and so on. Everywhere there are signs that show how the New Year is going to be.
1-2 January – Verjel – Dumbrăviţa: Peasant dance on Epiphany's Day; Info: the Mayor’s office of Dumbrăvița, Tel: +40 262 204 901
6 January – Epiphany Day: All Christians have their homes blessed by the priest, who goes from house to house and sprinkles rooms with holy water. At countryside, his arrival is announced by groups of children. It is said that, when the priest says the word “Tiralexai”, the person gets courage and cleans himself of evil.
6-14 January – Christmas and New Year according to the old Calendar: The Ukrainian communities of Sighet, Rona de Sus, Poienile de sub Munte, Ruscova, Remeţi, Bocicoiu Mare, Repedea, and Bistra celebrate Christmas and New Year according to the old calendar.
21 January - 2 February - The Winter exhibition of Maramures artists, first edition, Borsa
8-10 February – The Snow Festival – Borsa: When winter is still at home in Borșa, people gather and drink a glass of hot wine, listen to concerts and watch the skiers’ wonderful descent carrying lit torches. Info: Borşa House of Culture, Ms. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157, +40 262 342 249
1-3 March - The Snow rally - Cavnic. Car racing over icy-snowy roads. Info: Cavnic township, Tel: +40 262 295 101
1-30 March – Spring traditions and customs – Borsa. Info: Borşa House of Culture, Ms. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157, +40 262 342 249
21 March - "The Icon - cornerstone for belief". Religious icons exhibition at The Ethnography Museum, Baia Mare. Info: The Ethnography and villatic art museum, Tel: +40 262 276 895
25 March – Annunciation Day: Traditions and customs meant to protect from evil and trouble. Visitors will have the opportunity to admire fire shows: at sunset, all the householders clean their gardens and light outdoor fires, meant to protect them from trouble and sickness. It is said that, if for this day the weather is nice, so it will be for Easter.
March - The Lenker Festival - Cavnic. Lenker is a local invention dating back to 1930, a steering wheel sledge, and the people in Cavnic are very proud of their invention. Every year in March they celebrate the Lenker with special games and fun activities. Info: Cavnic township, Tel: +40 262 295 101
31 March - Easter customs for Catholics
7-14 April - Forest Days - Borsa: Ecological culture and beliefs festival
23 April – Saint George's Day: In some villages, people decorate their houses with birch leaves. In the morning of St George's Day (also called Sângeorz), people wash their faces with dew. The main custom on Saint George's Day is the “wetting” one: boys throw buquets of waters on girls, as a ritual of fertility.
23 April – Dance at the Shed – Village Museum, Baia Mare: The old church from the Village Museum of Baia Mare is celebrated on St. George's Day. Considering this year, 23th of April is on Easter s Even, a day for mourning, Saint George will be celebrated a little later, on the second day of Easter. The church service, the dance and customs will bring the museum to life. Info: Baia Mare Ethnography Museum, Tel: +40 0262 276 895, www.etnografie-maramures.ro
23 April - "Holy fertile earth" - Borsa: cultural event dedicated to St. George, the Patron of Borsa. Info: Borşa House of Culture, Ms. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157, +40 262 342 249
27-28 April – ”April Smiles” – Vişeu de Sus: The Satire and Humour Festival is coordinated by The Union of Epigrammatists from Romania; enter for free and exit with a smile! Info: Vişeu de Sus House of Culture, Tel: +40 262 354 639
28 April – Palm Sunday: Christians bring green willow branches in the church yards to have them blessed by priests; the branches will be then taken home and kept in a on the girder, where everyone can see them all year long.
28 April - 5 May - Easter exhibition - Borsa: presenting Easter customs from the Holy week.Info: Borşa House of Culture, Ms. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157, +40 262 342 249
5 May – Easter Customs: After a long fasting period, the people of Maramureş celebrate Easter with piety: painting eggs, going to the Resurrection Service, having their food blessed by the priest are some of the unforgotten customs.
6 May– ″Udătoriu″ from Şurdeşti: On the second day of Easter, the hardest working villager (named the “Udătoriu”) is celebrated. This is an old spring agrarian custom. Info: Surdesti priest house, Tel: +40 766 442 263
7 May – Dance on Cosău (7th edition)– Sârbi: A village that preserved its wooden houses, gates, traditional installations and its artisans, also preserved the custom of dancing on holidays. Info: the Mayor's office of Budeşti, Tel: +40 262 373 669
11 - 12 May – The Ukrainian dancing and singing festival – Bistra: the Ukrainians on Viseu Valley celebrate the coming of the spring by presenting their seasonal customs. Info: The Mayor’s Office of Bistra, Tel: + 40 262 369 107, +40 724 521 169
8 - 12 May – „Am fost ş-om fi” International folklor festival for children (14th edition), Sighetu-Marmaţiei: keeping alive the local traditions through the songs and costumes authenticity. Info: Sighet Children's Club, Mr. Iuga, Tel: +40 728 485 897
12 May – ″Câte flori pe Iza-n sus″ (Many Flowers up the Iza River) Folk Festival – Dragomireşti: The church of Dragomireşti is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter; after the church service, the entire town hums with the sounds of traditional dance and music. Info: the Mayor’s office of Dragomireşti, Tel: +40 262 337 007
12 May – Tânjaua on Mara Valley – Hoteni: The first man to work the fields this season is celebrated; the name of the festival comes from the Romanian word “tânja”, which represents the pole that connects the animals to the carriage; Info: the Mayor’s office of Ocna Şugatag, Tel: +40 262 374 005
18 May - Folk costume festival (8th edition)- Cupseni. Info: Targu Lapus House of Culture, Ms. Valerica Saur, Tel: +40 741 419 360
21 May – „Mândru-i danţu pe la noi” – Recea: folklor dance festival. Info: Recea township, Tel: +40 262 287 555
25 - 26 May – The “Spring Harmonies” Festival of Literature and Folklore – Vişeu de Sus: Participants that are keen on folklore and literature gather in Viseu de Sus and talk about their artistic work. Info: the Mayor’s office of Vişeu de Sus, Tel: +40 262 352 880
25 - 26 May – "Floare mândră de pe Iza" (Beautiful Flower from Iza) Festival – Şieu: Two days of authentic folklore in a famous traditional festival that is also an occasion for the villagers to gather. Info: the Mayor’s office of Şieu, Ms. Man Maria, Tel: +40 262 333 010, +40 747 546 582
25 - 26 May – ″The Daffodils' Festival″ – Repedea: People from Repedea take great pride of their daffodil meadow that is declared a protected area. Traditional costume, parade, and folk group performances take place when it’s the time for daffodils to flourish; Info: the Mayor’s office of Repedea, Tel: +40 262 366 065
May – The Artist's Day from Baia Mare (10th edition): The event is meant to officially appreciate the activities of the artists from Baia Mare. Info: the Mayor’s office of Baia Mare, Tel: +40 262 213 824
May – “Horea în grumaz” – Târgu Lăpuş: Contest of interpreting traditional songs from the Land of Lăpuş (horea în grumaz = lament in the throat). Info: Primăria Târgu Lăpus, Tel: 0262 384 465, +40 741 419 360
2 June – „Black cherry” festival – Coruia: Festival organized by the local folk group called “Cireşarii” to display the local customs and traditions; Info: the Mayor’s office of Săcălăşeni, Tel: +40 262 338 007
2 June – Shepherd's Celebration – Şetref Pass: Traditional costumes parade, awards given to the best shepherds, specific contests, at the border between Maramures and Bistriţa. Info: The Center for Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture Maramures,Tel: +40 0262 211 560
9 June - "Pintea the Brave" festival - Cernesti.
22 - 23 June – “The Sanziene Coronet” and Tăuţii Măgherăuş Festival: An event that celebrates through music and dance both the town of Tăuţii Măgherăuş and the Sânziene's Day. Info: Tăuţii Măgherăuş House of Culture, Ms. Angela Micle, Tel: +40 757 065
23 June – Whit Sunday: On the day when the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples is celebrated, the villagers of Maramureş decorate their houses with green branches of lime and maple trees, a symbol of wealth and crop abundance.
23-24 June – ″Nu vă uitaţi că-s micuţ″ (Even Though I am Just a Child) Festival – Budeşti: Children folk groups from all over Maramureş are invited to perform on a stage in the beautiful village from Cosău Valley; Info: the Mayor’s office of Budeşti, Tel: +40 262 373 669
23 - 24 June – Dance in Văleni: The day after Whit Sunday is celebrated in the village of Cosău Valley, known for its old traditional houses. Info: the Mayor’s office of Călinesti, Tel: +40262 373 084
24 June - Dance in Mara-Cosau: Info: Regional Development Authority Maramures, Tel: +40 262 211 947
24 June – “Sânziene”: In Maramures, young girls pick up yellow flowers and put them in a wreath above their windows, gates, and doorways. The custom says that the “Sânziene” (fairies who live on the fields) get angry if they are not celebrated.
23 - 24 June - Nights of Sânziene – Borşa: young men riding horses, carrying lit torches and young women dressed traditionally and wearing flowers take part to a parade that leads to a lake where several fascinating rituals will take place. Info: Borsa House of Culture, Mrs. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157
24 June - "Sânzienele" - Baita de sub Codru: Local folk traditions
30 June – Bârsana Monastery Celebration: Villagers from all over Mara and Iza Valleys, and other places make a pilgrimage in order to be present at the religious service. The service is held on the 12 Apostles Gathering Holy Day, at the beautiful monastery Bârsana, one of the nicest sites located on Iza Valley.
30 June - "Somes flowers" - Miresul Mare: song and dance contest-festival for children under 15. Info: Miresu Mare township, Tel: +40 262 284 001
June - July – “Fotoetnografica” photography exhibition - Baia Mare: Info: The Center for Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture Maramures,Tel: +40 0262 211 560
1 - 15 July - Alpine summer in Rodnei Mountains: Info: Borsa House of Culture, Mrs. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157
6 - 7 July – “Maramuresul rasuna” the song and dance festival from the Land of Chioar – Satulung: A contest festival, already at the 10th edition that aims to discover new talents and to promote authentic folklore and traditional costumes. Info: the Mayor’s office of Satulung, Tel: +40 262 283 069, +40 745 620 144
6 - 7 July – “The Festival of Dances, Songs and Costumes from Fisculaş” – Dumbrăviţa: The best occasion to become familiar with the customs of the villages in the Fisculaş region (between Baia Mare, Baia Sprie and Lapus river). Info: the Mayor’s office of Dumbrăviţa, Tel: +40 262 299 001
20 July – Saint Ilie’s Day –Dragomiresti Monastery Celebration: Each year, on Saint Ilie’s Day, Christians gather at Dragomiresti Monastery to pray to the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that Saint Ilie is walking in the sky throwing thunders and beating people who don’t honour his day with a fire whip. Fear of thunder strikes keeps people away from working the fields, giving them time to rest.
20 - 23 July - "Titiana Mihali" international festival - Borsa: Info: Borsa House of Culture, Mrs. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157
20 - 23 July - Summer festival - Borsa: Info: Borsa House of Culture, Mrs. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157
20-27 July – Hay Celebration: In July, there are 6 special days when it is said that working the fields can stir the anger of nature phenomena during this entire period. Tradition says that one must not gather hay, because Saint Ilie may set it ablaze. One must not use metal farming tools as they might provoke thunderstorms.
14 - 16 August – The Long Road to The Merry Cemetery (4th edition)– Săpânţa: Festival dedicated to the Merry Cemetery from Sapanta. A cultural initiative belonging to the Irish-Romanian Cultural Association, therefore the events within this festival are going to be "inter-cultural". Festival Director: Peter Hurley. For details, please check: http://lasapanta.net or Tel: +40 744 649 687
15 August – The Assumption of Virgin Mary: Pilgrims dressed in white, and singing hymns dedicated to the Virgin Mary, walk together towards the monasteries in the area. One of the places of pilgrimage is Rohia Monastery, which is also the celebration day of the monastery.
15 August - Green fest - Borsa: Info: Borsa House of Culture, Mrs. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157
15 August - "Songs, dance and good spirits on Ronisoara Valley" - Rona de Jos: Event that brings together the youth of the village. Info: Rona de Jos township, Tel: +40 262 361 101
17-24 August - Preluca National Art Camp - Preluca (Copalnic Manastur): Music, literature evenings, theater perfomrances, camp fires, all around the main character of the event: "the shed". A whole week of therapy through nature and discussions "natural" as well in the beautiful setting offered by the border between the Land of Chioar and the Land of Lapus. For details, please check www.asociatiasura.wordpress.ro, Info: Şura Association, Tel: +40 747 024 050
18 August – “For My Darling from Botiza” Folk Festival – Botiza: Traditional dances and violin players can be heard even in the neighbouring villages. Botiza is renowned for its gifted weavers and a great amount of guesthouses. Info: the Mayor’s office of Botiza, Tel: +40 262 334 011
19 August – “Hora la Prislop” (Dance at Prislop) – Borşa: A traditional festival taking place on the border between Maramureş and Bucovina. Enjoy beautiful mountain scenery, folk performances from Maramures, Suceava and Bistrita-Năsăud, local artisans, and a huge feast. Info: Borşa House of Culture, Tel: +40 262 342 429
31 August-1 September – ”Alină-te dor, alină” Festival – Cicârlău: The most important and long living festival of Cicârlău, initiated by the well known folk singer Nicolae Sabău. The uniqueness of this event is given by the nature of the awards: birds and animals. Info: the Mayor's Office of Cicârlău, Tel: +40 262 481 002
August – Land of Lapus Arts Camp - Dealu Mare (Coroieni): Dramatic art and literature, hand-made, ceramics and folk music workshops, guitar strumming, all under the sky of the Land of Lapus, at Dealu Mare, a village where locals proudly claim that they make the best plum brandy (horinca) in the world... Info: camp coordinator Ducu Hotima, tel: +40 745 858 625
August – Dance at the Shed – Copalnic Manastur: Festival of traditional dances. Info: Copalnic Manastur House of Culture, Tel: 0728 955 644
5 - 8 September - International choir singing contest Liviu Borlan - Baia Mare: dedicated to one of the most representative music composer from Maramures, also an excellent conductor and professor. More than an intercultural exchange ocasion, the festival will display some of the best composition that Liviu Borlan has created. Info: Asociatia Prietenii Armoniei, Tel: +40 721 154 791, www.festivalborlan.ro
8 September – The Birth of the Virgin Mary: A holiday that is celebrated mainly by women that ask for Virgin Mary’s help, to give birth to healthy children. This is also the day, when Celebration of the Ieud wooden Church on the Hill (UNESCO World Heritage monument), Hărnicesti, and Călinesti Josani takes places.
17-19 September – International Festival of Poetry – Sighetu-Marmaţiei: Info: Sighetu Marmaţiei House of Culture, Tel: +40 262 311 581
27-29 September – The Chestnut Festival – Baia Mare: Having the symbol of chestnut leave, The Chestnut Festival is organized at the end of September, when for three days, Baia Mare is dressed up for holiday. Rivers of wine, grape-must and beer flow in the town old centre; along with numerous parties; art and sports, all in a generous programme that entertains local people and their guests. On this special occasion, the capital city of Maramureş reveals its precious “treasure” of sweet chestnuts. Info: the Mayor’s office of Baia Mare, Tel: +40 262 211 001
28 - 29 September - "Alina-te, dor, alina" - Cicarlau: Folk song festival. Situated only 15 km from Baia Mare, Cicarlau is well known for its wine and for the folk singers. Info: Cicarlau township, Tel: +40 262 481 002
September – The Autumn exhibition of Maramures artists – Baia Mare
September – Petofi Sandor Ball – Coltău: Dances, music, food, performances in the memory of the Hungarian poet who spent his honey moon in this village. Info: the Mayor’s office of Coltau, Tel: +40 262 289 289
14 October – Saint Paraschiva's Day – Celebration of the wooden churches of Poienile Izei and Deseşti (UNESCO monuments): Built in 1604, the Wooden church from Poienile Izei, is well known for its wall paintings depicting the Day of Judgment, is the only church that preserves its original paintings exactly how they looked like in 1780, due to painstaking renovation.
19 October - Autumn Ball (Grapes festival) - Tautii Magheraus: Info: Tautii Magheraus township, Tel: +40 262 293 048, Ms. Angela Micle, + 40 757 065 995
October - Autumn Festival Borsa: Info: Borsa House of Culture, Mrs. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157
October - “Fotoetnografica” photography exhibition - Baia Mare: Info: The Center for Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture Maramures,Tel: +40 0262 211 560
1-2 November – Commemoration of the deceased: Every year on the first days of November, locals commemorate ones that passed away, lighting candles in cemeteries.
8 November – The Archangels Michael and Gabriel Day - Tradition says that the Archangels Michael and Gabriel accompany the souls of the deceased, in Heaven or in Hell. Celebration of the wooden churches of Şurdeşti, Rogoz, Plopiş (World Heritage monuments), Rozavlea, Strâmtura etc . This special holiday is a good opportunity to visit and admire their beauty, created by local builders centuries ago.
21 November – Presentation of the Virgin Mary – Celebration of the wooden church of Bârsana (UNESCO monument): This church is also called the “walking church” since it has been moved several times to different locations; it currently stands on the Hill of Jbar, in a place where an old Black Plague graveyard existed.
30 November – Saint Andrew’s Day: If you get the chance to spend the night of November 30th in one of the houses from Maramures, and you haven‘t found your soul mate yet, your hosts will initiate into the rituals and practices of accomplishing it. This will require sacrifice, as you will have to make with your own hands a salty cake and fast all day. Only after doing this, will your soul mate will appear in your dreams at night.
1 December – Activities dedicated to the celebration of Romania’s National Day
6 December – Saint Nicholas: It is said that during Christian holidays, when the sky is open, Saint Nicholas can be seen sitting next to God. The wooden church of Budeşti (UNESCO monument), built in 1643, as well as the churches from Bogdan-Vodă, Glod, Fereşti, Corneşti and Vişeu de Sus are devoted to Saint Nicholas.
14 December - 6 January - "Winter customs in Borsa" festival. Info: Borsa House of Culture, Mrs. Hantig Floarea, Tel: +40 740 892 157
14 - 15 December – “Veniţi la Viflaim” (Come to Viflaim) Christmas Carol Festival – Vişeul de Sus: Folk assemblies present traditional winter customs and sing carols as a preparation for the Christmas Hollidays to come. Info: the Mayor’s office of Vişeu de Sus, Tel: +40 262 352 880
15 December – “Asta-i sara de Craciun” Christmas Carols concert – Dragomiresti: Folk assemblies from Dragomiresti and from other villages on Iza Valley sing Christmas carols. Info: The Mayor’s office of Dragomiresti, Tel: 0262 337 007
21 December – Christmas in Maramureş – Baia Mare Village Museum: Christmas fair, the pig's ritual sacrifice, traditional food and carollers from the villages of Maramureş; Info: Baia Mare Ethnography and Popular Art Museum, Tel: +40 262 276 895, www.craciuninmaramures.ro
23 December – Christmas Preparations –Dragomireşti: Museum of Romanian Peasant Woman Christmas Eve is also the time when women bake the stolnic, large, beautiful bread, full of significances for the traditional customs of this period. You will find more about this tradition from Mrs Maria Zubaşcu; Info: Tel: +40 262 337 417
24-25 December – Christmas Customs: In Maramureş, on Christmas night, lights are never turned off, and every house is decorated and ready to welcome carollers. The holiday preserves beautiful customs filled with meanings that attract people from all over who come here to enjoy the real spirit of a traditional Christmas.
25-27 December – Christmas and New Year's Celebration – Cavnic: Young men, dressed as „brondoşi” wearing masks and bells attached to their costumes, go out on the streets to chase away bad spirits. parade ale tradiţiilor locale, spectacole cu obiceiuri de Crăciun.
24-27 December – “Viflaimul” Folk Theatre – Botiza
25 December – “Vflaimul” Folk Theatre - Vişeu de Sus
25 December – “Vflaimul” Folk Theatre - Ieud
26 December – “Mândră-i Sara de Crăciun” (Beautiful Christmas Night) Carols Festival – Budeşti: Info: the Mayor’s office of Budeşti, Tel: +40 262 373 669
26, 30 December – By “Mocăniţa” through Snow – Vişeu de Sus: you will have the opportunity to admire from the heaten old steam train the Vasser Valley covered with snow. Bonus: coffee, cookies and wine. Info: CFF Vişeu de Sus, Tel: +40 262 353 381, www.cffviseu.com
27- 28 December – “Marmaţia 2010” Winter Customs Festival – Sighetu Marmaţiei: Every year (since 1968) after Christmas, a combination of Romanian winter customs and traditions are performed in Sighet. Peasants dressed in traditional costumes, parade in the town centre; horse riders, and carriages with carollers present customs from Maramureş and other parts of the country. Info: Sighetu Marmaţiei House of Culture, Tel: +40 262 311 581
30 December – Rituals for finding soulmates – Dragomireşti Romanian Peasant Woman Museum: The end of the year is a good moment for young women to put in practice magical rituals that will help them find out how their future husband is going to be; Info: Tel: +40 262 337 417
31 December – New Year's Eve: On the night between the two years, villages come alive with the sounds of children singing good luck songs and households become realms of magical rituals.
December – Winter Customs Festival – Târgu Lăpuş: The town center of Târgu Lăpuş is animated with people that come here for a costume parade and to see winter regional customs. Info: the House of Culture Târgu Lăpuş, Tel: +40 262 466 471
* Some of these dates are subject to change. We highly recommend you to contact the organizers prior to your visit.
Source: MaramuresInfoTurism, www.visitmaramures.ro