Transcarpathian carolers won at the international festival

Elvira Kilaru for uzhgorod.in, photos by George Kilaru  29 December 2012 11:10  29927218 027791
Transcarpathian carolers won at the international festival

For 15 consecutive years the mayor's office of the Romanian city Nehresht-Oas on the second day of Christmas organizes the Festival of winter traditions and customs. This event has long gained international status, because every year it involves carolers from Romanian villages of Transcarpathia, taking prizes in this contest of traditional carols. 

Transcarpathian carolers won at the international festival (DSC_0009)

The festival takes place in an Orthodox Cathedral in the city, so performers present only those carols which are recognized by the church. 

Transcarpathian carolers won at the international festival (DSC_0039)

Nehresht Oas town and surrounding villages near the Ukrainian border are recognized as one of the brightest ethnographic areas in Romania where authentic folk costumes have been preserved, which by the way are worn not only during the festival, but also in everyday life.  But even those knowledgeable of the traditions and rituals local "ethnographers" were impressed by folk costumes of the group "Khyzhanochka" from the village of Khyzha in Vynogradiv district, who at the invitation of the Satu Mare Culture Department for the first time participated in an international cultural event of such level.  

Transcarpathian carolers won at the international festival (DSC_0074)

Folk costumes were found by the group members in the chests of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers, "Vlachs", who in ancient times had settled in the foothills of the Transcarpathian Yulivsky range, at the Ukrainian-Romanian border.  Local residents honor their history, preserve ancient traditions. Folk customs and rituals for them are living elements of life, rather than decorative folk entertainments. Although the theatrical performance "Bethlehem" was only in Ukrainian language without translation, the hall applauded the Transcarpathians, because Romanians understood the content and the energy conveyed by the Transcarpathians. 

Among the many groups (about 400), who took part in the festival, Transcarpathian carolers took the first place.

See all the colors of the festival here.

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