Orthodox Easter: events in Bucharest and in the country

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, Easter fairs have returned to cities across the country and museums are holding various themed events as the celebration approaches. Below we outline some of the activities available in Bucharest and other cities the week before Orthodox Easter.

In Bucharestthe Creart, one of the city’s cultural centers under the aegis of the Town Hall, hosts an Easter fair between April 15 and 22, Easter Traditions, covering exhibitions, workshops and egg decorating demonstrations. At the Creart Gallery, the public can see an exhibition of decorated eggs, the work of Rodica Bărhădan, a craftswoman from Paltin, Suceava County, curated by Doina Ișfănoni, an ethnologist and art historian. From April 15-17 (15:00-18:00) and April 18-22 (11:00-13:00), Bărhădan will hold workshops on the centuries-old custom of decorating eggs. Overall, the public can view and purchase a range of traditional products and Easter-related items, from painted eggs to hand-painted icons, wooden items or woven goods. More information about the event here.

The Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum invites children to a Egg hunt in his garden on April 21 (11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.). The event is open to children ages 6-10 and participants will use the items they find to paint, cut, glue and design various custom items. More details on registration and fees are available here.

For classical music lovers, the George Enescu Philharmonic is hosting two concerts with a program of works by Johannes Brahms and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra will present The Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny)Op. 54 by Brahms and Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, with violinist Valentin Șerban as soloist, and Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64. The George Enescu Philharmonic Choir is conducted by Iosif Ion Prunner. Due to the Easter holiday, the concerts take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays, as opposed to the usual Thursday and Friday dates.

After a three-year hiatus, Sibiu is hosting an Easter Fair again this year, on the city’s Grand Place. More than 50 stalls were set up for an exhibition of traditional products, Easter sweets and decorations, ceramic items and toys, and various treats ranging from honey to pastries and pancakes. The fair is open from April 15 to 26. The youngest can enjoy a merry-go-round, a miniature train, a bouncy castle and a trampoline, among others.

The week before Orthodox Easter, the Astra Museum in Sibiu organizes a egg painting workshop. Participants are invited to paint large egg-shaped cartons inspired by traditional patterns of decorated eggs. Museum staff will be available to offer more information on the art of egg decorating, the use of natural colors in the process, and what the designs represent. The event takes place in Pivelor Alley in the open-air museum, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More details here. To inspire those who decide to register for the workshop, the open-air museum is hosting 16 giant eggs, recently painted by children who have taken part in the museum’s educational activities.

The Ethnographic Museum of Sibiu is one of the best places to discover and experience Easter traditions. Their past events included events covering both the Catholic and Orthodox celebration of Easter, as well as the customs and culinary traditions associated with the event.

Timisoara, in western Romania, also hosts an Easter fair until April 27. The fair is held in the city’s Libertatii Square and in four districts – Freidorf (Petőfi Sandor Square), Traian District (Millennium Church, Regina Maria Park), Lipovei District (Holdelor St. Park) and Soarelui Area (Padurice Park). The public will be able to sample a range of artisan items and foods, while puppet theater performances and an egg hunt, scheduled for April 25, are offered for children.

At the same time, the Banat village museum in Timișoara is hosting between April 15 and 25 a spring park occasioned by Easter. The public will be able to enjoy contemporary art installations, a bazaar with various handicrafts, as well as concerts and shows. A treasure hunt will also be available, as well as a food court. There will also be a space for children, with an adventure zone, theatrical performances and workshops. And there will also be an Acoustic Brunch on Saturday. More information about the program here.

A trip to Bukovina is another good opportunity to discover the custom of painted eggs. Beeswax is used in the painting process, and this is applied with a traditional instrument called chișiță. At first, the outline of the ornaments is drawn, then the beeswax is applied using the special instrument. Then the egg is immersed in the color and the operation is repeated depending on the complexity of the pattern. At the end, the hardened wax is wiped off with a warm cloth, thus highlighting the multicolored decor.

For those wishing to see the variety of decoration produced in the region, several museums with impressive collections are available in Bukovina. In Moldoviţa, Suceava County, craftswoman Lucia Condrea has created a museum with a collection of over 11,000 objects, bringing together decorated eggs from 56 countries. A virtual tour is available here. In Vama, also in Suceava county, another museum presents an extensive collection of objects from all parts of the country and around the world. The collection belongs to Letiţia Orşivschi, who designed many of the exhibits. More information about the museum here. In Ciocăneşti, also in Suceava, another museum presents a variety of decorated eggs, many of them with patterns that can also be found on the houses of the village.

(Photo: Kutizoltan | Dreamstime.com)


About Roy B. Westling

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