The pig?s slaughtering before Christmas or during the Twelfth Tide mark the end of the celebrations? cycle, dedicated to the New Year. The environment, especially the waters, is purified from malefic forces. On Twelfth Tide the Heaven?s gates open, people sing carols, forecast the weather and the harvest? abundance for the next year. There are many Christian rituals of water consecration, christening ceremonies, immersion of the cross into the water. People added a lot of new purifying practices: sprinkling, washing or ritual immersions in the water of rivers and lakes, shouting and noises, fire settings, smoking the cattle and the farm-stead. The pork jelly and the boiled wheat are the best known ritual aliments.
Twelve Teams of 12 Boarding-houses
The area Bran-Moieciu hosted a special event organized by the Centre for the Conservation and Valorisation of the Popular Tradition Brasov, in collaboration with the County Council, the Prefect?s Institution and the Agency for Durable Development of Brasov County. It was meant to promote the county?s popular costumes, the pig?s slaughtering and the cooking of traditional meals. The event signed the conclusion of the old Romanian cycle of pig?s sacrifice and the beginning of a new manner of slaughtering, according to the European standards. The hosts performed a display of slaughtering skills, cooking the meal and attractively exhibit them. Twelve agro-touring boarding houses assisted the demonstration, while 12 teams of 12 town halls took part of the contest. At the end of the challenge, every team was awarded for its originality, the gastronomic fantasy, the aspect and the taste of the products.
Fiddlers? Tunes for Pigs
Everything started early in the morning, by distributing the pigs to the 12 teams. At the boarding-house ?Maria? from Bran, the hosts accompanied the pigs? unloading from the track by fiddlers? tunes, to cover to squeals. A jury constituted by representatives of the County Council, the Agency of Durable Development and media verified the slaughtering and the cooking process and the originality of the recipes. They noticed the boarding-houses owners? care for the tradition and local customs.
A multicultural Event
Mihai Pascu, the Agency?s president, mentioned the four goals of the event, meant to conserve the multicultural county?s life: promoting the traditions and local customs, developing tourism and agro-tourism, supporting the social activities and awarding the results of the local administration?s representatives. This is why the organisers also invited Magyar teams from Apata, Ormenis and Tarlungeni along with the Romanian ones from Prejmer, Bran, Moieciu, Bunesti, Sinca Noua, Vama Buzaului, Homorod and Beclean.
The Hose of Vlad the Impaler
The teams from Apata and Sacele impressed by the hygiene rules they imposed, while those from Bran-Moieciu and Homorod by the ingredients and the instruments. Bran inhabitants used o hose, a museum item which served during Vlad the Impaler?s reign to torture the dishonest subjects by burning their nails. The same utensil is used now to scorch the pig?s bacon.
Special Pickle and Kolbasz
The teams from Bunesti and Homorod used a special pickle called ?slatina? and the participants from Sacele prepared two kinds of sausages and black pudding called ?Kolbasz?. The special water taken from a fountain of Mercheasa, springing directly from the ground, is very salted. The water was brought in vessels, as those used by all the inhabitants of Homorod, to replace the salt.
Food for the Indigents
Moiecu had the largest team ? ten men; one of them was a veterinarian who noticed that all the pigs where well-nourished females. The team of Ormenis cooked a traditional giblets soup sour with sauerkraut and horseradish. The contested ended, all the participants gathered at a famous local restaurant ?The Mountains? Queen? to exhibit their products as for an auction. The organisers awarded the teams? members, while the meals were offered to the indigent families.