The famous Mount Gaina Maidens Fair, in Romania is known as a major folk festival that takes place at the Mount of Gaina in Transylvania, Romania. It is particularly a fair that arranges marriages of young guys and girls that are unmarried. A gathering is assembled in which families gather together and celebrate along with music and celebrations, and the boys choose their future wives in the festival.
Not only marriage, the fair gives an opportunity to let people show their talent such as handicrafts, singing folk songs or dancing on them, designing costumes etc. Thousands of people gather in this fair as marriage is a ritual and they also have a chance to display their talent too.
The event, however, in the first phase has a dance competition in which dancers compete after that, there is a concert of folk bands. Other attractions of the festival are the bonfire around which everyone sings the verses of folk songs in one voice.
The Mount Gaina Maidens Fair, in Romania is celebrated annually on the Mountains of Gaina, the celebration takes a lot of preparation time for girls especially. There is a special arrangement of dowry in a decorated lavish chest prepared by the girls so for that they require years of time to gather the goods for their future husbands and their families.
As the legend says…
The people of old time explains the concept of this tradition that once there was a hen that use to lay golden eggs and lives up on the mountains of Apuseni. The people their protected her and kept her safe. Once in a year, they use to gather to let their children meet the hen. When the hen was ready to descend, it used to beat its wings and turn itself into a lovely fairy. After that, it used to hand over its golden eggs to the newly wedded couple which was considered as a symbol of happiness for them in future life. But alike every story, this story also had a negative character, they say that once a hen was descending and the devil took away the eggs from the nest and ran away, after that when the hen turned around to see the theft, it flew and never came back. Since then, the people of Romania gather together at the mountain with a hope that the fairy will appear again and enchanted for her.
In other version of the story it was said that the magical fairy and the golden egg hen are two different stories. They explain that the fairy use to live up on the mountains and she had a hen that lays golden eggs every day. Once in a year the fairy use to gift one golden egg to the needy ones and to the poor quiet girls and the bad character in this story were five thieves, they use to dress up in women’s clothes then steels the hen’s golden eggs .once the thieves were running after snatching the eggs and they dropped the basket up from the mountain which rolled down from there to the rough water of river Aries. Out of fear, the chicken hid itself in the Abrud Mountain and the fairy in anger left the land forever and moved to more distant areas. From that time, the young people climb the mount of Giana, every 3rd Sunday of July with a hope that someday hey will meet the fairy or hen again.
Old Tradition of Maidens Fair
As an old tradition, the Mount Gaina Maidens Fair, in Romania started when on a Saturday evening, boys and men gathered. The young people use to spend the whole night singing songs and drinking brandy. In the morning, the wives and daughters appeared and the whole gathering then moves to Mount Gaina, the girls use to dance for boy’s entertainment and proves that they are worth getting married to. Traders there, sold brandy and edibles for people and they had very good business that day. Food and other arrangements were then prepared by parents and the guy’s parents come then for negotiation.
Current celebrations of Mount Gaina Maidens Fair
In today’s date, The Mount Gaina Maidens Fair, in Romania takes place in the village of Avram. It has become a popular tourist attraction for people who visit Romania as the folk celebration involves thousands of people and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The preparations are done many days before the festival. The inauguration of the event starts with mountain instrument “Tulnicărese”.