Pentecost (Rusalii) celebration – maypoles raising day

A day trip to see the Teutonic citadel built in Feldioara Village near Brasov in Transylvania, at the time of Pentecost celebration turn into an amazing day.

Before Christmas, you may see carts with fir-trees which people bring to their houses to decorate for the holiday. But why did these people load carts with birch trees in June? You probably heard about raising maypoles on the day of Pentecost. This tradition also exists in Romania but in a bit different way than in other countries.

Early in the morning on the day of Rusalii (that is how Pentecost called in Romanian), several groups of young gentlemen from the village go to the forest to cut some birch trees. They should do it by themselves but always under the supervision of an old wise person who helps to choose trees to be cut without damaging the woods. They load carts and come back to the village where all the fun begins.

A boy comes to a not married girl’s house of his choice and with the help of his team raises two maypoles at the gate to protect people, their household and fields from bad things. They use hammers and punches to make holes in the ground to hold birch poles. But they have to be fast because only one pair of poles can be raised near each house. This is a sort of competition! After raising poles, boys are welcomed by the girl’s family to have some drinks and cookies. And the girl’s father also pays a reward for setting up the protection for his house.

In the evening all involved boys and girls wear nice festive traditional clothes and go to the village hall to dance and celebrate Pentecost until the next morning.

Place to visit Feldioara Village, Transylvania.