In Dumbravita village, the inhabitants celebrate „The Gathering”, a custom linked to the end of winter and the beginning of spring, the awakening to life. Usually, the habit is held by the village's women, girls and wives mixed together at the same feast.
Noise and Yells
Usually, the gatherings are held by turn at each participant’s, but the women can also hire a permanent host. Each brings wood for fire, cleans the house and cares the furniture. The women come at the gathering after dusk, and usually in groups, all at once. They call each other by making noise, blowing the horn or yelling across the village’s streets.
As mayor Zachiu Popa says, young boys and men are also allowed to attend the gathering. „They learn together important household crafts, interpret the work’s significance and understand for the first time what love means. The Gathering is a true education of the people through work. Women learn here to spin hemp, flax, wool, how to weave and sew traditional shirts and towels. They also manufacture the dowry for the marriageable girls”.
The Bride’s Distaff
At the gathering, young women gossip about the boys ready to enlist or the marriageable girls. Young girls are initiated into the household works before marriage. The girl to become bride receives as a gift „the bride’s distaff”. The future bride is seated in the middle of the room, while the girls and wives dance in circle, imitating the movements of the hemp’s cultivation.