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10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.090

ROMANIAN TRADITION PERFORMED OVER THE YEAR WITH RITUALLY SYMBOLISM FROM THE WINTER SEASON

G. C. Chitu
Monday 9 October 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-24-9 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 6, Vol 2, 731-738 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.090

ABSTRACT

Winter Romanian traditions have an outstanding complexity and include a variety of both melodic and choreographic species. Christmas ritually mask has a double significance: it unifies the earthly world with the one beyond – a Utopian agglutination between the living and the “departed”, and a second meaning which cares for the agrarian field. Tradition says that for 12 days the Romanian games, that include masks, have the special purpose to reorganize and renew the entire world. During Christmas Eve and Christmas days, masked young men walk from one house to another, through villages and even cities, to bring wealth, good-luck and to herald future weddings for the young ladies. These traditions raised awareness and became mentioned starting with the 18th Century, by the Moldavian scientist Dimitrie Cantemir. They were found recorded in his well-known paper “Descriptio Moldaviae”. Following this, in the 20th and respectively 21st Centuries, the folklorist Teodor T. Burada has intensified the study upon these traditions. The winter cycle vigorously preserved its value, still being present in the Romanian houses nowadays. Traditions such as Jocul Caprei (Goat`s dance) with other regional designations such as Capra, Turca and Brezaia (untranslatable terms), Ursul (The Bear), Viflaiemul (regional term for Bethlehem), Irozii (The Herods), Căluții (The little horses), Jocul Mosilor (The Elders` Dance), Dracii (The Demons), Moartea cu coasa (The Death with the scythe), are just a few of the musical-choreographic and theatrical species presented herein. The origins of these traditions are held in the pre-Christian period. Since the eradication of these traditions failed, the Orthodox Church had no choice but to adopt a part of them and to adapt them into a religious form. Nevertheless most traditions kept their pagan origins, except for the carol. The carol is the richest and the most representative gender regarding the winter traditions, being well rooted into the Romanian folkloric music. The carol`s function, text, rhythm, music grants beauty and originality, customizing it in Romanian folkloric universe. The Roman occupation in Dacia determined, undoubtedly, over the time, rooting some of the habits and their perpetuation among the local ones. Therefore, the old habit of caroling was overtaken by the Dacia`s inhabitants, along with the Saturnalia – when the young Romans used to congratulate themselves during the January calends. The term “colinda” which comes from the Slavic “kolenda”, as we find it in Al. Rosetti, developed a variety of regional synonyms. Initially the Church considered them „devilish songs”, but subsequently adopted them. Harmonization of the melodic lines of carols began early in the century, through vocal and instrumental works. Nowadays we can enjoy these jewels, displayed either in a genuine or cultured manner, thanks to various personalities who have dealt with collecting and recovering this kind of folkloric genre.

Keywords: traditions, Romanian, folklore, mask, carol

PAPER DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.090 ; ROMANIAN TRADITION PERFORMED OVER THE YEAR WITH RITUALLY SYMBOLISM FROM THE WINTER SEASON

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