Midsummer Fairies (Sanzienele, Dragaica), 24 June
In the villages throughout the country, the midsummer celebrations take various shapes.
Traditionally, medicinal plants are collected from the forests, to serve against illnesses. Among them, a special plant, called sanziana is picked to be used against sorcery and spells.
Typically, maidens go to the forests to pick the plants, where they follow an old ritual, consisting of invocations and dancing naked around the plants and "offering" them food and drinks.
In many Maramures villages - Viseu de Jos, Viseu de Sus, Viseu de Mijloc, Moisei, Sacel, Salistea, Botiza, Cuhea, Dragomiresti - an ancient tradition, with Roman roots is still observed during the midsummer night (Sanziene, June 23 to 24) and also on June 29, the Saints Peter and Paul Day. Youngsters from the village lit torches made of fir tree impregnated with resin and shout greetings to each other from hilltops, while rotating the torches above their heads.
The girls lit small heaps of straws at crossroads and near the river and jump over them, with the belief of reaching purification and health. In Viseu de Jos, the girls take a dip in the river at midnight hoping they will be pure, healthy and especially hoping to dream their predestined husband.

Not only the villages, but even the cities have their midsummer celebrations. One of the most known midsummer festivals takes place at Buzau and features a fair of local handicraftsmen, a Fun Fair, music and dances. In the South of the country, the celebration is better known as Dragaica.

Reference: Maramures, a Living Museum in the Center of Europe, George Cristea and Mihai Dancus

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