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    JUNI 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

    The caroling season opens the cycle of the 12 days of winter holidays; it starts on Christmas Eve and lasts 3 days; the whole village participates in the event, although only the children and the boys gathered in groups carol. The tradition of the winter customs of the Săliște inhabitants requires that the young carolers be organized in gangs, a group that influences and coordinates during the winter holidays, the spiritual life of the village.
    The gang has a judge and a host; the participants in the gangs are called Juni, from here “Ceata Junilor”. Four days after Christmas, all the gangs meet in one of the great celebrations of the Mărginime, the Games Meeting.

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