8:00 am — 11:55 pm
The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery, the 7th edition (2016)
Merry Cemetery

Sapanta, Maramures, Romania
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The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery, the 7th edition  

14 – 21 of August 2016


the United Villages of MARAMURES

The Intercultural Association for Traditions, through its founder, Peter Hurley, organizes the seventh edition of the Project ‘The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery’, in August 14 – 21, 2016.

The festival fathered by Peter Hurley is dedicated to advertising and endorsing the Romanian villages, custodians of traditions, which the Irishman sees as genuine living treasures. At this edition, the seventh, the villages from Maramures understood the importance of its message and decided to involve, each of them presenting the local specificity.

“In a community effort, truly impressive and remarkable nation-wide, never before seen at a festival in Romania, all 63 villages from Maramures County committed to participate, each one bringing an event – smaller or bigger – where visitors have the opportunity to meet the authentic values of the traditional village.” – says Peter Hurley.

“We have prepared an impressive array of interactions; we call them micro–voyages, designed for people with various and specific interests, all connected to a common purpose: discovering and treasuring the culture of the living traditional village, a pleasant and healthy journey to their own origins.

“We build bridges! Bridges between rural and urban – Romanian or foreign urban. Bridges between generations – particularly, the generations from rural areas, mostly in Maramures. We want to confirm that the authentic values are relevant for the young people, either city people or country people.”

The 2016 edition of the festival ‘The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery’ opens a channel of communication between rural Romania and urban Romania, sending a national message of solidarity, on behalf of over 12,000 villages from Romania.

The seventh edition is scheduled to take place in August from the 14th to the 21st, and it presents the concept of the United Villages of Maramures, comprising four components:

1. the Villages Festival – micro-events, 14 – 20 August 2016

All 63 villages from Maramures County participate to the festival, each bringing a micro-event – no microphone, no public address system – simply authentic events, about people, customs and the life of the village. An evening with music and songs, a trip by the horse wagon to a sheepcote, a recital at the church, a (sewing) bee, a visit to a local craftsman’s shop etc.

Each micro-event is pinned on a map of the existing treasures, made for the festival, printed in 10,000 copies and available online at www.drumullung.ro.

Please access www.drumullung.ro to see the schedule of the micro-events starting to unfold Sunday morning, August 14, and going through the entire week, in all 63 villages.

2. “Mos Pupaza” Summer School – workshops, 14 – 20 August 2016

For those who wish to stay in one village, to deepen their knowledge in one particular field, this year, we launch the Summer School of “Mos Pupaza”, honouring Petru Godja, the one called “Mos Pupaza”, in his natal village of Valea Stejarului, plus one branch of the school at Sapanta. This is a pedagogical project meant to pass on and treasure the old traditions, explore the aspects typical for the daily life of the traditional village. A week full of seminars, conferences and workshops focussed to putting into practice the live traditions – wood, weaving, music, dance, working in a homestead.

Old Mr Pupaza was a master of the woodcarving. The summer school bears his name as a tribute, since we find him to be an emblematic figure of the traditional handcrafts, elevated to the rank of art.

3. Up on the Bradova – concerts, 17 – 20 August 2016

Four nights of amplified concerts, on a stage placed in a natural set, Up on the Bradova, in Barsana, offering a fabulous view, sitting on freshly cut grass, under the moon light!

The stage shall open every night around 7 p.m. (19:00 hours). We recommend the tourists to wear adequate shoes and to bring warm clothes and a warm blanket to sit on the grass. Several musicians from Maramures shall participate; but here are the names announced and the concert nights:

– 17 August – Nicu Covaci & Arhaic Rock featuring Maria Casandra Hausi and Adrian Naidin – in the opening of the night: Ad Hoc and the theatre production „Authentic Romania”, produced by Monei Gavrilas, casting Diana Giubernea and Sergiu Boldor. We could name this night “from where we started!”

– 18 August – “The Subcarpathians under full moon” –the legendary Mircea Florian & DJ Vasile and the instrumental performer Andrei Dinescu are singing in the opening of the night, in a musical voyage that could be named “where we ended!”

– 19 August – Iza Band and their guests, a clear proof of „how we party around here!”

– 20 August – Grigore Lese and his guests, Olga Podobinschi (piano), Mihaela Pletea (soprano), Maria Chifu (fagot), about ”who we really are!”

4. The Reunion of the Villages at Sapanta, 21 August 2016

On Sunday, August 21, all 63 villages of Maramures County are invited at Sapanta. All those who wish to enjoy a holyday typical for Maramures are invited. The party is set along all streets around the Merry Cemetery, a place where the folk art conveys a genuine philosophy of life and death. Around 6 p.m. we all dance the big hora! An epic, giant hora, on the streets around the Merry Cemetery, a Romanian traditional folk dance (hora) of the entire Maramures present there, at Sapanta.


The official opening of the Reunion of the Villages is scheduled for Sunday, August 21st , at 3.30 p.m. (15:30 hours).

The path: where does this journey starts from ?

We recommend to those who can go to Maramures on Sunday, the 14th of August, to attend the church mess, the recitals of Romanian orthodox religious prayers and processions included in the agenda; click here to see the agenda www.drumullung.ro.

At 2 p.m. (14:00 hours), in the village of Craciunesti, there is a touching heart-to-heart meeting with the Ukrainian old people of the village. The songs, stories and history and the Romanian-Ukrainian villages will be offered by their custodians, just like in a ritual.

Starting with 8 o’clock p.m. (20:00 hours), we invite you to the official opening of the festival in Valea Stejarului. There will be an outdoor movie screening, a movie about the wood carvers from Valea Stejarului, expressly produced for the festival – “Poarta / The Gate” (2016, Producers Vasile Mathe, Bogdan Neagota), followed by a solemn concert by Grigore Lese dedicated to the holly day of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

The Festival’s train leaves from the North Station!

This year, the most adequate and spectacular way of going to the festival ‘The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery’ is by the festival’s train. On August 13, in the evening, at 6 p.m. (18:00 hours), a special train will depart from the North Station, Bucharest, including a sleeping couch, restaurant and traditional live music. For details, please call at 0758.539.351.

The Target of the Project ‘The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery’

The target of the festival is to preserve and bring into sight the traditional values, through rituals, customs and crafts, to bring closer the rural and urban, to create invisible bridges between villages and cities, to seek for the ancestral roots that bind us all, no matter nationality, preoccupations, professions etc.

The MAP with the festival  – download

the long road to the merry cemetery



14 August, 2016 @ 8:00 am
21 August, 2016 @ 11:55 pm
Peter Hurley

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