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Practices and traditions


Agriculture and animal raising

The geographic position of the locality, marked by a hilly landscape, determined the development of specific ocupations : agriculture and animal raising. The archive documents confirm the age of these ocupations, ofering the image of a peaceful rural community, with an economic life based on the same ocupations. In general, the cows and the oxes where romanian bread, white or red, small by size but used with hard work and long roads. The sheeps were from the “turcana” breed, with rough and thick wool. The goats were easier to raise, and from this reason, they were in higher number than the sheeps.
In parallel with animal raising, the locals used to cultivate the land. As the population encreased in number The arable land kept extending, by cutting down trees and clearing the land. Later, they begun growing corn. The wheat was cultivated much less. Between the first and the second world war, the locals kept extending the prune cultures, even in the detriment of the cultivated fields. Other occupations in the area were
beepkeeping and the sericulture, which were provinding the honey, the wax and the silk for the family needs. Another occupation was the tannery. The skins from the lambs, sheeps or goats were tanned right inside the house, and caps and coats were made from them.

Logging and carpentry

The local people used to cut trees from their own forests to build wooden houses, sledges and carts. Carpentry has always been one of the oldest occupations from the commune. The carpenters were building houses, stables and hovels.
Another ancient occupation was the making of wheels, which was very common in Jupanesti.
The large spreading of the houses made of stone or brick facilitated the apparition of a new occupation : the masonry.

Spirits and brick making

The first kettles were simple and rudimentary, and were placed in the yard of the owner. The slow functioning of these kettles used to prolong the making of the spirits until late spring.
Until 1900, a number of 30 simple kettles were functioning in this area, but in the german ocupation period their number decreased by half. Some people started to build kettles on the river banks, for the speeding up of the cooling process. In the year 1846 there were 8 kettles in Jupanesti, and 21 after 1900.
The furnaces for brick making were the result of the increased number of people who started to build brick houses. Documents from the past century are showing the following situation: in 1896, a number of 8 furnaces existed in Jupanesti, in which were made 30.000 of bricks. In 1899, 3 furnaces were making the same number of bricks, and in 1900, 3 furnaces produced 60.000 bricks.

Practices and traditions

The region maintains most of its original traditions, inspired by the essential moments of life, like wedding, death and baptism. From the traditions that are still kept in this area, we can mention : the baptism ceremonial, the wedding ceremonial, the death ceremonial, winter and spring customs, the village calling and the easter practices.

The baptism ceremonial

This ceremonial folllows after birth with a series of practices that are supossed to chase away the evil spirits. A red cord is placed at the door, and after is tight up on the children's hand, to give him luck. At the first bath, the water is purified with basil and a silver coin. At baptism, the children is placed on a myrrh cloth, which is prepared by the godfathers.

The wedding ceremonial

This ceremonial is characterized by charm and glitter, and its a good ocasion for the participants to show their bright popular costumes, and to sing happy songs. Wedding, like all the other traditions, has been modernized. Parts of the original traditions are kept only in simplified forms.
The wedding has three important stages : the courting, the engagement and the actual wedding, the latest lasting from saturday evening to tuesday morning.
At the engagement, the families of the couple choose the date of the wedding, the godfathers, the maid and the man of honor.
The ceremonial of death

The folkloric manifestations that accompany the burial maintained some arhaic features of a rare beauty. The specific songs of this ceremonial expose in their lyrics the ancient belief of the romanian people about death being a journey in another world.
It is necesarry that the person it dies "cuminecat, spovedit si cu lumanare". These are crucial for his future "fate". Before it dies, the person must be "forgiven" by all the people that are around.
After this, the dead person is washed at the place of his death, and the water is thrown in the back of the garden.
For 3 days, the coffin is guarded by relatives and neighbours, so that no one can pass above or under the coffin, or else the deceased will be transformed in a ghost and the rest of the familly will die.

The winter traditions

The most representative traditions are those held in the winter and New Year, when the people make whishes of prosperity and health. The period of the winter celebrations is split between 20 and 25 december. The Christmass bread is made on 23 december, in a whole ritual that symbolizes the sacrifice of the spirit of the grain.
The Christmass bread is made on 23 december, in a whole ritual that symbolizes the sacrifice of the grain spirit.
The end of the 24 december brings Santa Claus to the good kids.
In the morning of Christmas, carolers are showing up in the village.

The spring traditions

The spring traditions are in deep connection with the agricultural and pastoral activities.
The first day of the spring is identified in the local popular belief as Baba Dochia, old agrarian godess which dies on 1 of March and comes back to life on 9 March. Baba Dochia has assemblance with the great godess Terra Mater and can be also asociated with Diana and Juno from the roman folklore, and with Hera or Artemis from the greek folklore.

The Easter celebrations

The Easter celebrations have always been specials for the locals, because the love for God and for the church its a special feeling and the preparations for this event involves the whole family.
In the romanian culture, the egg has inspired numerous legends. The works of art of many artists were made around this symbol. In the present, in the romanian popular culture, the easter eggs are a symbol of regeneration, purity and perpetual life.
The origins of the egg coloring are lost in the depths of time, when the New Year was celebrated at the spring equinox.
In the local folklore are known many legends which explain why the eggs are coloured in red at Easter, and why they are the symbol of the celebrations for the rebirth of Christ.
The most common legends says tells that Virgin Mary, which was mourning for her son, put a basket with eggs near the cross and the eggs got covered in the blood of Jesus.
Then, seeing that the eggs got red, Christ said to the people: From now on, make the eggs red as i did today so you will remember my crucification.

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