The event will take place in the courtyard of the French Institute in Bucharest and is organized by the National Romanian Peasant’s Museum.
The National Romanian Peasant’s Museum (MTR) expects the Bucharest citizens on June 24 between 10 am and midnight in the courtyard of the French Institute in Bucharest to celebrate the Midsummer and discover the story behind this pagan celebration, as well as to admire an exhibition of Romanian traditional blouses from all regions of the country, on the Universal Day of the Romanian Traditional Blouse.
According to the MTR website, from 10 am to midnight the public will be able to admire festive Romanian traditional blouses and working traditional blouses, long-sleeved blouses with separate shoulder ornament, wedding traditional blouses made of marquisette and embroidered with white silk, traditional blouses from manually woven fabric, traditional blouses with beads and neck-creased shirts. Creative workshops will be organized from noon to 4 pm and ethnologist Paul Drogeanu will talk about Midsummer celebration at Romanians (pre-Christian pagan celebration Dragaica or Sanziene, the latter deriving from Latin Sancta Diana). The evening will continue at 8 pm with the “Midsummer Night” by Mircea Eliade, lectured by actress Adriana Mocca, and at 8:30, Maria Casandra Hausi will hold a recital, “Ancient Legacy,” with old songs from the region of Maramures, love doina songs (Romanian traditional songs), shepherds’ hora (circle dance originating in the Balkans), presented as a musical monologue, as the sung parts alternate with the spoken parts. A screening of archive movies is then scheduled at 9:30 pm. The admission to the event on 24 June is free.
Sanzienele or Dragaica (Midsummer), celebrated on June 24, is a celebration of love and fertility associated with several rituals for the health of people and prosperity of the household, but also girls’ traditional ways to find the one destined to marry and the moment they are going to marry. Sanziene celebration allegedly origins from an Ancient Roman worshipping of goddess Diana, as the name of Sanziana, the name the celebration is known especially in Transylvania, coming from Sancta Diana, whereas its name is Dragaica in Muntenia and Oltenia, after the Slavic name. According to some experts, the celebration originates in a Dacian ancient worship of the Sun, as the Sanziene (traditionally represented as girls dressed as brides) are represented as Dacians dancing in circle. In the Eastern Christian tradition, June 24 is the day St. John the Baptist was born, brought to this world by Elisabeth at an old age, an event that prepares the wonder of the Nativity of Jesus Christ from a Virgin.
The Sanziene celebration is believed to the most auspicious moment to pick up healing herbs and magic spells herbs. Thus, in the Midsummer Night, women go pick up flowers and herbs to be used against illnesses and other afflictions.