An old custom in Tara Fagarasului region is ‘Plugarul’ (the Ploughman), a custom also celebrated these days in the villages Vad, Parau, Comana, Venetia and Cuciulata, from Brasov County. The origin of the custom is related to the magical religions prior to Christianism. Since the age of the Dacians (and even before), the man who went first to plough on spring was granted the right to build in that year the mediating element between the population of the village and the supernatural forces.
When the spring comes, the village people organize the ‘Plugarul’ custom, as preparation for the new agricultural year. The custom ceremony begins with a ludic moment. The young boy who went first to plough hides in the household and he is looked for by the members of the community. This custom to hide the Ploughman has a double function: on the one hand to be submitted to a cleverness test of the young boys group and on the other hand it has a magical function, for influencing the nature elements. The young boys look for the Ploughman and, once they find him, they put plant coronas around his waist, called ‘borte’, they put a crown on his head, and then they put him on a harrow and carry him on their shoulders to the river.
‘Plugarul’ is an agricultural custom, the harrow being the main focus point, an agricultural tool, on which the Ploughman is put, and then carried to the river water. The crown has a special role, representing vegetation, resuscitation of nature and the connection between man and nature. The Ploughman, who is put on the harrow, starts to splash the ones assisting to the ceremony. Water means life – water of life, without which there would be no life on earth. After this ceremony, the group goes back to the Ploughman’s house, where there is a feast, which refers to a wealthy crop.
Nowadays the custom takes place in the second day of Easter, in the villages aforementioned from Tara Fagarasului region, and also in the Tara Oltului area. The custom did not lose its ritual aspect and it is presented as a big mimic show, with costumes, music, dance and fiddlers.