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    SÂNTILIE LARGE PAINTING

    Part of The Calendar Collection– 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

    As in the case of other holidays, Sântilie is related to the celebration of a pre-Christian holiday, dedicated to the god of fire and the sun, worshiped to prevent various meteorological phenomena. The Christian calendar celebrates on July 20 the Holy Prophet Elijah, the only saint who ascended to heaven, body and soul. More feared than loved, Sântilie is the patron of thunder and lightning, who binds and unbinds the rains, and decides where and when hail hits the ground. Who wouldn’t be frightened at the sight of a chariot with fiery wheels and winged horses plowing the cloudy sky?

    Saint Elijah marks the middle of summer, but also the middle of the pastoral season that begins in Sângiorz and ends in Sânmedru. At this time of the year nedei (specific fairs) are organized in the mountains, on plateaus, shepherds separate the rams from the sheep, medicinal plants are gathered and charms are made to keep away rain, hail, lightning and other forces of nature under the power of Sântilie.

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