Monday, April 21, 2008

palm sunday peasant fair


Here the religion is Eastern Orthodox, and Petre Cottontail comes hoppin' down the bunny trail later than in the West. Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and next Sunday, April 27th will be the day Easter is celebrated. (Julian calendar vs. Gregorian - Julian won here) So I braved the Bucharest traffic, invoked my Parking Karma, and took myself and camera to the yearly peasant craft fair at the Peasant Museuum (where else?) of Bucuresti.

Come along. You'll have a very peasant time.

Peasant Fair Bucharest


Painted Eggs
The famed painted eggs, especially prominent around Easter time, are the most readily recognizable examples of Romanian folk art. Intricate patterns were actually secret languages known only to residents of the regions where they were painted. Painting of real hollowed-out eggs was an integral part of preparations for this festival of renewal. Women and children gathered in someone's home and spent a day painting and gossiping.

One of the most beautiful Romanian Easter traditions is painted eggs. Egg shells are dyed in colorful patterns and decorated with folk motifs. Designs are made with an implement called a condei or chisita - a small cartridge filled with paint with a sharp point on the end. There are a myriad of motifs used on painted eggs. The most popular ones are the cross, the star, the sun, the wave, the zigzags, and stylized flowers. Sometimes motifs are applied using natural leaves. Traditionally, it's the women who paint Easter eggs, and they have to do it on the Thursday before Easter. Women are not supposed to do any work on the Friday before Easter. Sunday Easter morning the painted eggs are tapped together with the words "Hristos a Inviat - Adevarat a Inviat" - "Christ is Risen - He is Risen indeed." This beautiful ritual precedes the Easter breakfast. For forty days people, especially in the countryside, greet each other with these words.


Brandie said...

Shelly, terrific pictures! You captured the fair beautifully!!! See you soon!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed your photos of the Peasant Arts Fair.