Every year in February, Transylvanian village Rimetea celebrates the Burying of the Fărșang (Înmormântarea fărșangului in Romanian/ Farsangtemetés Torockón in Hungarian), a popular custom dating back 700 years, symbolizing the burial of winter and of the old agrarian year.
In 2015, the Burying of the Fărșang in Rimetea will take place on February 28, starting 14:00. Besides the colorful procession, locals plan parties and a ball on February 27 and 28, starting 21:00.
It usually takes place on the Saturday before the start of the Easter Fast or the Great Fast, when villagers celebrate Shrove Tuesday (“lăsatul secului de carne” in Romanian) through a ”fărșang” (“farsang” in Hungarian) – a carnival whose main event is a ritual procession, a burlesque of the burial of winter, symbolizing the end of the old year and the chase off of evil spirits. The fărșang is specific to Catholic and Protestant communities in Transylvania and is the equivalent of carnival in Catholic and Protestant countries.
Only young men in the village can take part in the procession, even though they dress as women. On the day of the event, they dress up and set out on the streets of the village in a parade resembling a wedding procession. It is led by musicians followed by characters such as a priest, groom, bride, a donkey that pulls on a cart with a coffin representing the winter and the old year, a mourner, even a pair of drunks and two “old maids”, along with villagers.
Only 57 km away from Cluj, Rimetea (Alba County) is considered to be the most beautiful village in Transylvania and there is a legend saying that here the sun rises twice. Due to conservation efforts, Rimetea was awarded the European Commission’s Europa Nostra Award for the conservation of the material cultural heritage and, earlier, the village was designated a protected architectural and urban area. Most of heritage buildings date from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.
Watch below a short film about the traditional celebration:
Photo source: Facebook