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    ISPAS LARGE PAINTING

    Part of The Calendar Art collection of 14 paintings depicting 14 of the most important celebrations of the pastoral Romanian year, all created in chronological order (but not necessarily previewed in this manner here). The inspiration came from the rich culture, traditions and mythology of one of the most authentic Romanian area, Mărginimea Sibiului. After thoroughly studying the landmarks of the celebratory year of the locals, rich in traditions, songs and dances, it’s clear that we’re looking at 3 main cultural layers- the base one, an ancestral religion that’s left only residual information for us, a middle layer of the solar cult (inherited by the cult of Mithra) and the last and most present in today’s collective conscience, the Christian layer (their initiators made a clear effort, at Christianity’s beginnings to change the subject of the “pagan”’s celebrations- instead of celebrating the winter Solstice we celebrate the birth of Jesus, instead of celebrating an old Thracian god of thunder and rain, on the exact day, we celebrate Saint Elijah).

     

    THE STORY

    In Sibiel, Sibiu county, there is a special custom on the day of the Ascension: surrounding the Holy Cross, done by girls and boys, of all ages. The small children dress up in traditional costumes, and the older boys come riding on horses decorated with flowers and bells. They circle the shrines three times and hum a special song:

    Holy cross,
    Don’t go away,
    Because the young
    come with good horses
    And virgins with crowns
    And priests with consecrations”.

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