Dumbrăviţa, a Romanian village|
Being an ancient Romanian and Orthodox settlement, Dumbravita commune was first attested in the 12th century when the village of Tantari, the former name of the commune, translated in German Schnakendorf, is also mentioned in an uncompleted monograph of the Romanian villages before the colonization of the Saxons (1211) - Die Dorfer Des Burzenlandes. As a village of free peasants enjoying certain freedoms which allowed them to preserve their ethnic identity and faith, Tantar has managed to come through many difficulties throughout the years. Records mention that the villagers joined the army of Mihai Viteazul on his way to Sibiu.
The Orthodox Church
"Today's church building stands on the site of an old wooden church which according to the tradition, used to stand in the Central Cemetery. Before that, the church had a beam construction, with no plastering and used to be covered with straws. The exact location of the church remains unknown. Today's church was built between 1864-1868 with funds offered by church goers. Besides financial contribution people did intense manual labor until the completion of works. The church was sanctified in 1868 by memorial Andrei Saguna, Metropolitan of Ardeal. The church has two architectural characteristics: the body itself which preserves the traditional structure of Orthodox naves, with trefoil shaped apsides housing the altar and the two lateral aisles. Today, the church is considered a heritage item. Many people come here to attend the Sunday mass especially on Easter and Christmas when it is very crowded," said Mr. Zachiu Popa, Mayor of Dumbravita.
Customs and traditions
The local folk group has an impressive repertoire which includes: "Sezătoarea", "Ceata de Feciori", "Plugarul", "Fecioreasca fetelor de la Crihalma" and other local and regional folk dances.
"Lifting the Christmas Tree" (Ridicatul Bradului) is a very important custom celebrated on the occasion of Christmas. It is a true ritual starting on Saint Nicholas Day. The men groups would go search the hills and valleys for a fir tree and then transport it to the village, adorn it, light it while singing, dancing and having a good time. The ceremony is performed in the sound of music while the men sit under the tree. The entire village takes part in this event all dancing around the fir tree.
During winter time, evening sittings used to be organized in peoples’ houses, after finishing their farming works. The evening sitting was in fact a working meeting where girls or women sat around spinning wool and hemp into yarn. While working with the distaff and the yarn to complete their dowry, the women would sing, tell jokes and play different games. Men also used to take part in the girls’ evening sittings. They were offered scovergi, doughnuts and brandy. Today, "Plaiurile Dumbravitei" folk dance group included an Evening Sitting show involving children, young and old women, young men and old dance pieces.