<ul><li>When you say Romania you say the Carpathians, the Black Sea, the Danube Delta, the monasteries in the North of Mold o va, and the ancient traditions of Maramures. There is also, Transylvania with its medieval cities (and well-known legend of Dracula ) , the sweet wine, and the tasty traditional cuisine. But above all, Romania is a beautiful country due to its people’s hospitality. As the geographical area is not that wide, the variety of sights may strike you as surprising. In Romania you can go to the seaside for a perfect tan but you may as well reach the highest peaks of the wild mountains, explore the deep caverns or go to the Danube Delta. Y ou have plenty of choices, as you can spend your time enjoying the prosperity of a traditional household, with good food and excellent wine. </li></ul>România
<ul><li>ROM Â NIA ( /roʊˈmeɪniə/ ) is a country located in South-East Central Europe, North of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest (Romanian: Bucureşti /bu.kuˈreʃtʲ/ ). </li></ul><ul><li>România is divided in 3 traditional regions: Wallachia (consisting of regions of Oltenia, Muntenia and Dobrogea), Transylvania (consisting of Transylvania, Crisana and Banat regions) and Moldova in the east (including the areas of Bucovina and Moldova). You can see all these regions displayed in the map that follows. </li></ul><ul><li>Maramureş (pronounced Maramuresh) is a geographical, historical and ethno-cultural region in northern Transylvania, along the upper Tisza River consisting in the Maramureş Depression and surrounding mountains, part of the north-eastern Carpathians. </li></ul><ul><li>. This very old land lies in the northern part of Rom a nia. Like a genuine natural fortress, it is surrounded by hills and mountains, the latter bearing such names as Rodna, Tible ş , Lãpu ş , Gutâi, Ignis, Maramures. Sung in folk ballads, treasured by the natives and admired by visitors, two rivers, the Vi ş eu and the Iza, are emblematic landmarks of the place. </li></ul>
A journey through Maramureş The first time you open your eyes in the romanian region of Maramure ş , you will probably see a beautiful mountain and h il l landscape .
The blue area in the North of the map is Maramureş. Maramureş is known to be a rural area full of wildlife. There, the ancient traditions of romanian village life are kept alive. A journey to Maramure ş , regardless of the season of the year, turns into a superb adventure . One can hardly imagine, now, in the 2 1st century, a universe where archaic customs blend so naturally with nature.
<ul><li>As we travel through Maramureş we will show you some things that you can see, smell, taste, hear and feel. </li></ul>
The first thing we see as we begin our journey is a mountain goat ( ”capra n e agr ă ” ).
Groundhogs (“marmotă”) are also familiar to the Maramureş region.
A mountain rooster ( “coco şul de munte ” )which can rarely be seen in nature.
As we walk a bit longer, we will reach a road that leads to a village.
As we get close to the village we will start to hear some sounds and look ing carefully, we will see people dancing ... The people from Maramureş sing and their songs are called “hori”.Instead, the verb to sing always means to wail, to cry for someone, or a lament. The musical repertoire is complemented by traditional carols, lullabies , ballads and wailing. I n the absence of instruments, the rhythm is given with stamping of one’s feet with force while vigorously swinging one’s body. You should hear music now… If not, click here
The dance is not hard , while holding hands and forming a circle, you take two steps to the left, to steps to the right and so on ,following the rythm .
In the village it is very common to see skillfully carved gates like this.
Here you can see the main street of Maramureş …ha ha ha
<ul><li>When we talk about M aramure ş we talk about three essential things that represent the region: wooden churches,gates and the so called “troiţe” (tro it z ay- we`ll mention them later ). </li></ul>
People here are very friendly and they will be glad to open their doors for strangers. We might receive food such as these “sarmale,” cabage rolls with rice and meat filling.
It is also traditional to fill cakes such as these with ja m and maybe coat them in honey . Dumplings with plum marmalade(magium) You make a sheet of dough from water and flour. On a half of the sheet, you put pieces of magium with a teaspoon, and then you drape it with the other half. After this, you cut between the piles with a pasta cutter. You boil the dumplings in water mixed with salt, you let the water drain off, then you put onions fried in oil on the dumplings. You can switch the onions with honey.
All in all, the main eating habits of the people from Maramureş is pork and cheese.
<ul><li>Some shepherds even make their own cheese whether it is sheep-milk or cow-milk cheese. </li></ul><ul><li>Also it is customary for the people to slaughter their own pig and prepare the different sorts of pork by themselves. </li></ul>
Maramure ş is a region full of customs and traditions. T he traditional Romanian footwear, opinca (peasant sandal), can be seen in the Maramure ş villages even nowadays, but pig skin has been replaced with rubber . Some people s t ill make their own wool.
If we are lucky, we will get to see how they make alcohol from cherries or plums . In M aramure ş the home-made alcohol is named Horincã (a strong drink distilled from fruit – plums, apples, pears etc.) is a typically Maramureş drink which, with over 65 % resembles brandy .
Some people still use hand - made furniture that was made by their ancestors .
Pottery is also a tradition there , as this giant pot shows.
This is an ingenious system that is used for washing clothes. The river flows into the baskets forming wirlpools similar to the technology of a modern washing-machine.
As we exit the village or go on the top of the hill or mountain we will see old wooden monasteries.
Continuing our journey through Maramure ş , we will also arrive in cities , like Baia Mare. Baia Mare is a municipality in northwestern Rom ania and the seat of Maramureş Count y .
Or Sighetu Marmaţiei, also spelled Sighetul Marmaţiei, formerly Sighet , is a city in Maramureş County, in north-western Romania.
On special occasions, the town people will dress up in their traditional clothes. The wide diversity of Maramure ş folk costumes can be admired on the eve of the New Year at Sighetul Marmatiei, where a Festival of Winter Customs is held there.
The picture shows a “troitza”.They are crosses made of wood or rock with a lot of inscriptions and sculptures on them. Troiţele are mainly decorations in church yards and they are common for the region of Maramureş .
<ul><li>You can tell a Maramure ş costume from a thousand. The bright colours express the people’s character : their vitality, optimism, special sense of beauty. </li></ul>In this picture you can see a traditional bride ’s suit.
At the end of your journey you should really see the Merry Cemetary, i t’ s one of the most uncommon places in the world: a large garden with carved crosses, mostly painted in blue, with peasant’s faces painted on them, accompanied by long epitaphs. The epitaphs contain humorous rhymes, describing their defects, qualities, dreams and failures. This is why it’s called the Merry Cemetary.
We hope you enjoyed the journey! Here is a map, so you won ’t get lost the next time you want to come to Romania!