- Christmas carols and New Year wishes in Transylvania
Photo: Csúcs Péter
THE TIME CAPSULE
A team of builders was working to prepare the area for constructions which were about to begin the following month. As they were digging they hit something unusual. They didn’t know what it was so they took it to the museum. At the museum it turned out it was a time capsule. When it was opened, everybody was surprised about the material they found inside. As the local press reported on the event, the time capsule contained a collection of Romanian and Hungarian Christmas carols, as well as a fairly detailed description of the habits and customs related to the period between Advent and Epiphany.
- ROMANIAN WINTER TRADITIONS
After a thorough examination of the data found in the time capsule, the staff of the museum decided to publish a book with a collection of local Romanian and Hungarian traditions connected to Christmas and New Year celebrations. Here is an excerpt from the Introduction concerning some of the Romanian winter traditions.
- HUNGARIAN TRADITIONS AROUND CHRISTMAS
While the first volume dealt with Romanian traditions connected to Christmas and New Year celebrations, the second volume included Hungarian cultural data. To mark the event, the museum organized a press conference to announce the publication of the volumes. One of the folklorists of the museum was invited to a local radio show to speak about the project.
- TRADITIONAL SWEETS
Listening to the interview on the radio, an old woman living in a nearby village visited her granddaughter, one of the staff members at the museum, and provided her with further details about the customs related to Christmas in Transylvania. She described the times she went singing carols with a group of children and the delicious pastries they were offered. One of her all-time favorites was the poppy seed roll, a special Transylvanian delicacy often served at Christmas.
- THE CONTEST
Following the publication of the two volumes containing a collection of Romanian and Hungarian Christmas carols, as well as a fairly detailed description of the habits and customs related to the period between Advent and Epiphany, the museum staff organized a contest for members of the local community. The task was to present an old tradition related to Christmas and New Year.
- REBURIAL OF THE TIME CAPSULEAs it turned out, the time capsule contained a lot of valuable information about Christmas and New Year, and the traditions and customs related to this time of the year. The material was digitalized and then reburied at the building site, under the new elementary school to be built in the near future.