The Museum of Popular Customs from Bukovina

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The Museum of Popular Customs from Bukovina, a public forum monument of local (county) importance, is situated in Gura Humorului, Republic Square, no. 2,35 km away from Suceava.
Organized in a building from the end of the 19th century and transformed into a tourist attraction in 1958, it is distinguished among the museums in Romania through the chrono-logical presentation of the Bukovina folk traditions during a calendar year.
The over 1,200 heritage objects re-lated to the 12 sets of popular traditions in Bukovina, which combined the memoriza-tion of sacred time with the economic activities in the rural world, are exhibited in 16 halls. The respective practices, illustrat-ed in this museum, both exhibits and the guide’s explanations, are the following: 1. St. Andrew’s Eve (the 30th of November); 2. Christmas Eve; 3. New Year’s Eve; 4. Febru-ary, the preamble of the agricultural year; 5. Martyrs – the beginning of the Agrarian Year (March 1-9); 6. Alexiile – the beginning of the beekeeping year (Saint Alexie, the 17th of March); 7. The beginning of Lent; 8. Holy Week; 9. The Great Feast of the Resur-rection; 10. Saint George – The beginning of the pastoral summer; 11. Saint Elijah – The middle of the pastoral summer; 12. Sâmedru (= Saint Demetrius) – the end of the pastoral summer (the 26th of October).
The Bukovina folk calendar began at Saint Andrew’s Day (the 30th of November), being marked especially by the ritual, magical practices, through which the bridesmaids tried to “find out” who their future husband would be.
The beginning of the pastoral summer was under the sign of St. George. Most of the day’s practices were defeating evil spirits and purifying space, people, and animals.
The middle of the pastoral summer gravities around the St. Elijah holiday, and the 20th of July when the “nedeile” – pre-Christian sun worship ceremonies were organized in the mountains. Later, they were turned into fairs.
The end of the pastoral summer, celebrated on the 26th of October, by the feast of Saint Demetrius, was to close the season, patronized by horses, and to open the traditional winter, patronized by wolves. On this occasion, numerous purification and divination rituals were performed (related to the prediction of meteorological phenomena).
There is also the “Georges Cotos” Art Gallery within this museum, consisting of 200 paintings donated by the French painter of Romanian origin Georges Cotos (1915 -2014).

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