Wheat Harvest


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Wheat Harvest (Transylvania)

Late summer
In Transylvania, a region of Romania that was at one time part of Hungary, the gathering of the wheat harvest in late summer reflects traditional customs that have been largely supplanted by modern agricultural methods elsewhere. Here the owner of a farm must still rely on friends and neighbors to gather the crops. When the last sheaf is harvested, a wreath made of wheat and wild flowers is taken to the farmer's house by young girls in traditional dress. The other farm laborers lie in wait for the procession and carry out a mock ambush by drenching everyone in water. When the landowner first appears in the harvest field, the harvesters tie him up and demand a ransom for his release.
When the procession arrives at the landowner's house, poems in his honor are recited. The wreath is hung in a special place where it will remain until the next harvest. There is a feast for everyone, followed by dancing to the music of a gypsy band. A special delicacy associated with the harvest feast is gingerbread cookies. In fact, elaborately shaped and decorated gingerbread cookies are considered a part of the region's folk art tradition.
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 530
(c)
References in periodicals archive ?
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