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).
On Easter Sunday, the morning is quiet, then around 10 o’clock the church bells, located high above in the middle of the village, ring filling the air with their intese sound. At their signal, the villagers go to the cemetery where each one places a traditional embroidered napkin on the family’s grave, where they put red eggs, rolls, a bottle of wine, and a plate with Romanian fruit cake (cozonac). The couples who got married from the previous Easter until now, dressed in the traditional costume of the bride and groom, place a table on the grave on which they put the plate with “cozonac” or cakes, the red eggs, the cakes and the plates that they used at the wedding, full of sweet wine.
The “bride and groom couples”, married over the year, from the previous Easter until now, seconded by the godparents, treat the villagers with “sweet wine” from the wedding plates and invite them to the “Easter Lunch”, that is, a feast which repeats the wedding menu. They now receive gifts consisting mostly of dishes.
This custom in Mărginimea Sibiului is generically called “the gift to the grave” or “the gift of the vessels” because, at the local level, it does not have a defined name. The age of the custom is difficult to determine because it does not appear in documents and the locals consider it so natural that they do not look for its origin, age, or motivation. Its practice depends not only on the number of marriages made in the village over the year but also on the ability of the young couples to support, with honor, that feast similar to the wedding. That is why they follow it or avoid it, for economic reasons.SHOP THE PAINTING