Among the folk Saxon customs, the Carnival (Fasching in German) which takes place in commune Prejmer, county of Brasov, remains one of the favourite local events of the young people from Prejmer. It was their idea to revive this custom inherited from the Saxon community who has been the majority of the local population for hundreds of years.
The Carnival is organized before the beginning of the Easter fast, according to the calendar of the Evangelical Church. This is a moment of joy and dance and a good opportunity for the community to reunite. Most of the Saxons from Prejmer have currently chosen to return to the places from where their ancestors originated 800 years ago.
A trace of memory
"As a token of respect for our good coexistence with the Saxons, we want to keep a trace of memory of what their passage through these lands meant. Their passage has profoundly marked the Romanian community, too. Essentially, the ceremony starts on the evening before the Carnival, when young people make masks for the second day, in the traditional atmosphere of folk German dances and songs. In the morning, groups of masked young men wander about the village on horseback or by foot along the cart in which fluffy pancakes are made. The procession is made up of masked accordion, drum and trumpet players. While passing by, they receive flour, sugar, eggs, wine or money in exchange of their pancakes. They used these products to make the pancakes served at the Masked Ball," said Mr. Serban Todorica, Mayor of Prejmer."
The pancake caravan
While marching through the streets of the village, the young men steal a girl and get her into the covered wagon. In order to release her, her parents have to pay a ransom. The day ends with the masked parade and the Masked Ball party which lasts until dawn. One legend says that the noise and the uproar made by the young people on this day is meant to chase away the bad spirits of winter, cold and freeze to make way to the blessing warmth of spring.
An entertaining show
The masked youth march on horseback through the village shouting the following words: "Take a pancake today / To bring you good luck on your way!" and "Take the sweet pancake / To bring you good luck in your life!". The characters of the parade included Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves caught and imprisoned in a cart. The most sophisticated pancake recipes were also presented at the event much to the delight of the audience, which along with the middle-east dances, the round dances, Sârba (meaning "Serbian [dance]" in Romanian) and Batuta (Romanian folk dance), the masked people and the allegoric carts, created the perfect atmosphere.
The event was organized by the Town Hall of Prejmer, the Service for the Preservation and Conservation of the Traditional Culture of Brasov, the Evangelical Parish CA from Prejmer, ANTREC Romania and the Association for Sustainable Rural Development "Euro-Rural" Prejmer.