The locality Cuciulata, included into the commune Hoghiz, county of Braşov, is also known as the village of Aron Pumnul, the natal settlement of the teacher of the greatest Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu. The inhabitants find therefore a strong reason to conserve the local traditions and celebrate the traditional feasts. One of the magic custom of the area is ?The Ploughman?s Custom?, celebrated by the entire community.
The tradition has its roots in some magic beliefs and celebrates the first householder of the village ready to plough. He used to be considered once as the mediator element between the village?s population and the supernatural forces.
Ion Şerban, the mayor of Hoghiz, was born in Cuciulata and knows the custom very well. ?The ceremony of the Ploughman?s custom starts with a ludicrous moment: the young who had the courage to be the first one to seize the plough, validated by the community?s youngsters, hides into the farm and the others go in quest of him. When they find him, they put a wreath on his head and gird him with a greenery belt. They hoist him on a harrow and the entire procession of youngsters, girded with greenery belts, goes to the river?.
Party for a reach Harvest
The procession, surrounding the ploughman, stops at the river bank. The men throw the harrow in the water. The ploughman climbs on it and sprinkle with water everybody on the river side. After the ceremony, the procession returns to the ploughman?s house, where they organise a great party, wishing a reach harvest for that year. The custom is celebrated every year, two days after Easter, not only in Cuciulata but also in Vad, Veneţia and in Ţara Oltului area. The ceremony still conserves its ritual aspect, combined with mimic elements, music and dance.
Sacred and profane
The costumes dedicated to the agricultural labours have an augural signification, due to the importance of the primordial in the traditional mentality. The initial magic purpose of those customs was to invoke the willingness and the protection of the forces supposed to govern the chthonian and the vegetal world. Progressively, they got a ceremonial character meant to mark the solemnity of the moment. In the popular mentality, the water is not a pure sacral element, like in the religious one, but a strict fact directly involved in the work process.