One of the traditional Easter destinations in Romania is the region of Maramureș, in the north, where customs and traditions are well preserved. The tourist offer of Maramureș is comprehensive and addresses both those who want an active holiday and those interested just in relaxation. In addition, the local craftspeople organize shows in which they display their talent.
Our guide today is Dan Carpov, a promoter of Maramureș region: “In Maramureș, Easter is a time of joy, when people are happy to observe the region’s ancient traditions and customs. They wear traditional costumes, dance and prepare delicious dishes. The Easter traditions of the region are famous even abroad. The people of Maramureș value humaneness, family, and respect for the others. Easter is a good period for tourism, and those who want to visit Maramureș will find many locations worth a visit as well as many attractive programs. One such program is called ‘Easter in Maramureș’ which is also a unique event. It is organized in Sighetu Marmației on the occasion of the Easter holiday, Easter being the biggest Christian holiday, and also an opportunity for the people of Maramureș to live moments of holy joy within their community and together with tourists. ‘Easter in Maramureș’ wants to promote the traditional village of Maramureș, with all its charm: music, traditional dress, crafts and food. And everything takes place in an authentic location: the Maramureș Village Museum in Sighetu Marmației.”
You may wonder what a trip to Maramureș during the Easter holiday would look like. Here is Dan Carpov, a promoter of Maramureș with details: “I would start the trip in the city of Baia Mare, a gateway to Maramureș. Another gate to the region is Sighetu Marmației, the other important city of Maramureș county. I would make a daily schedule and start with Maundy Thursday, when tourists are supposed to attend the religious service in church, where the people of Maramureș usually give food and clothes to those in need, in memory of the souls of their dear ones that have passed away. Friday is a sad day in the Orthodox calendar, and Christians fast and pray, and go to church to attend a special service, dressed in their traditional attire, which is an occasion for tourists to admire the beauty of the Maramureș folk costumes. On Saturday the general atmosphere is getting more optimistic. People make the last preparations for the Easter celebrations and the housewives are giving the final touch to the special Easter dishes and prepare for the Easter Day. On Sunday, families meet for the Easter festive meal, and a special tradition on this day is the painted-egg knocking. All guesthouses in the region offer Easter packages, in which tradition comes first.”
For the more active tourists, Maramureș offers lots of possibilities from the picturesque hiking trails to the region’s lakes and rivers, just good for a bath in summer. Dan Carpov, is back with details: "The warm weather is just setting in, and we are already nostalgic about the ski slopes with a lot of snow, which were the delight of tourists in winter: the new Olympic slope from Borșa, the Șuior, Cavnic, and Izvoare resorts. All these slopes live up to European standards. Cyclists can enjoy wonderful routes, away from the traffic. The bicycle routes were recently refurbished and marked in cooperation with the Maramureș County Mountain Rescue Service. Preparations are being made for the mountain running, bike triathlon, and swimming competitions for the coming season, and in some areas of Maramureș people can also practice paragliding, another fashionable sport at present.”
Maramureș is famous for its centuries-old wooden churches which visitors should not miss, although it’s hard to see them all in one single visit. Dan Carpov has more: "I would recommend the ‘Circuit of the wooden churches in Maramureș’. It is a very dear project that has been recently included in a European circuit which comprises all these impressive places of worship. The circuit presents 16 wooden churches that spread on an area of about 300 km. Obviously, we do not recommend a quick visit, but it is important to know that, of all these churches, eight are included on the UNESCO heritage list. Every wooden church is waiting for tourists to discover its secrets.”
The region of Maramureș also boasts an authentic tradition of woodcarving, and those who visit the area will have the chance to admire the famous wooden gates, houses, and churches as well as other wooden objects, used for decoration or in the households. Dan Carpov is back at the microphone with more: “Pottery is another traditional craft in the region of Maramureș, just like traditional dress making. Many hardworking women process materials in spectacular ways, and they make traditional costumes from scratch. We are not talking only about traditional shirts and dresses made with ancient techniques, we refer to the whole folk costume. These costumes are always in high demand, because they are worn both by the artists of the region and by ordinary people when they participate in various events such as weddings and baptisms."
That is why Maramureș is such a popular destination during the Easter holiday. So, don’t waste any more time, contact your tour operator in advance and book a trip for next year’s Easter celebrations in Maramureș county, Romania. (LS)