Many Romanian traditions date back from the beginning of time and are still present today. They originate from the pre-historic Getae and Dacians and have been well kept since then. Many of them are centered around the end of the year and the beginning of a new one, the moment when the cycle of life restarts.
The winter holy period before the end of the calendar year is full of special moments, ritual dances, men wearing ancient masks.
The masks have different roles, from representing the good spirits of the ancestors, to scaring away the bad spirits, and are also a way to disguise the persons behind them; now you can do things that you could not do over the rest of the year, a way to expose some personality treats of the one dancing with a mask.
The dance of the bear is one of the most popular of the ancient dances. Men dressed up in bear furs perform a ritual dance to the rhythm of a drum. It is a frenzy dance, similar to the old rituals meant to brighten up the elements of the nature, and to celebrate the spirit of the bear. The costumed men imitate the moves, the behavior and the noises of the bear. While the “bears” dance, their “teamer” hits the drum and recites rhymes that he has learned from his father, passed on from generation to generation. The whole dance is also accompanied by whistles.
“The goat” is another ancient ritual dance performed before the New Year’s, symbolizing the end and the new start, the new cycle of life. It is also an upbeat dance, accompanied by the noisy, grave bang of drums along with the high-pitched tune of whistles.
Romania Color can accompany you to all these places, to feel the magic of the winter holydays.