July 4, 2015

1717 ROMANIA (Suceava) - The garlic watcher in Saint Andrew's Night in Bukovina Folk Customs Museum

Situated in the small town of Gura Humorului, located in Humorului Depression, at the confluence of Moldova River and Humor River, Bukovina Folk Customs Museum was created in 1958 as a representative ethnographic museum for Humor region. After 1996 was moved in a building located downtown, was reorganized in current form and was open in 2005. The theme of the museum was designed as a virtual trip to the spiritual universe of Bukovina village from the late 19th century, a virtual village in which the visitor can browse the main moments of calendar time, as a representation of traditional peasant calendar.

Arriving at the edge of the village, the visitor is invited to enter in the first house, single-cell, with a fountain with wheel in the courtyard, where are held the magical practices of Saint Andrew's feast. Saint Andrew, the one who Christianized the Romanian people, is considered in the folk calendar, the begining of the winter, and patron of wolves. The night that precedes the feast of Saint Andrew is the night of the strigoi (In Romanian mythology, strigoi are the troubled souls of the dead rising from the grave). People can defend themselves by the malefic influences of the strigoi eating garlic and making the sign of the cross with garlic above the door and the windows, and as well on the forehead. Is also the magical night in which girls can dream the face of the future husband

In the room are recreated some of these practices: the guarding of the garlic, the preparation of the salted cake, the throwing of the tow on hearth, the watching in the fountain, the binding of the poles at midnight etc., all having in background a traditional interior, with grinda-meşter ("the heart of the house" or the girder which "binds the house" and supports the other girders), ladă de zestre (chest of dower), lăicere (carpets), laviţă (sort of bench), oven, glass icons, wooden and ceramic pots - reconstituted after a model from Dornelor area (the village Glodu).

About the stamps
The stamps, depicting Love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) and Alpine Forget-me-not (Eritrichium nanum), are part of the second series Flora of Romania - Fauna flowers (II), about which I wrote here.

Muzeul Obiceiurilor Populare (rom) - gurahumorului.info

Sender: Marius Vasiliu (direct swap)
Sent from Gura Humorului (Suceava / Romania), on 15.04.2013
Photo: Marius Vasiliu

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