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Annual events

Annual events

Annual cultural events organised at Lake Saint Anne in the nearby villages

Events organised on a regular basis, several times a year:
The Fair of Traditional Products held in Csíkszereda on the third Saturday of every month.
Every Friday street sales are held in Tusnádfürdõ.

Schedule of annual events

January
New Year's Eve in Bálványosfürdõ and Tusnádfürdõ
Two or three-star-hotels and guesthouses have a large variety of entertaining programmes on offer, which usually include festive Christmas or New Year's Eve dinners, festive carnival dinners, traditional pig sticking with wine tasting, boiled pálinka (traditional fruit brandy) and mulled wine; riding on horse-drawn sleighs, camp fires, live music and fireworks.

February

Mardi Gras season balls
The Mardi Gras season is the entire period between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. However, the most festive days are held at Shrovetide, between the Sunday preceding Ash Wednesday and the evening of Shrove Tuesday. It is a celebration of spring prevailing over cold and darkness. Shrovetide festivities are held in almost every village of Csík region. Among the variety of events, fancy-dress balls and food-hamper balls are the most popular. Food-hamper balls are organised by a group of initiators in each village. Apart from local people, couples who have moved from the village come back home to take part in the festivity. The participants bring food and drink to the ball in decorated baskets. On several occasions mock-weddings and log towing have been organised in Csíkkozmás to entertain those who take part in the Shrovetide festivities.

Carnival's burial
Almost all the villages in Csík have their own tradition of Carnival's burial. Since the 1990s, folklore groups supported by the Cultural Centre of Hargita County have organised joint Carnival's burial festivals in one of the villages of Hargita County. Moreover, folklore groups organise Carnival's burial festivities in their own villages, as well. It is usually held in the morning of Ash Wednesday, and is actually a parody of the funeral ritual, rich in mischievous episodes, in which Illés, an effigy symbolising the winter, is burnt. The Carnival's burial is somewhat special in Kászon, where an effigy of a bull is symbolically sacrificed. In Torja a horse procession and the chase of the Mardi Gras are included in the Shrovetide festivity. Each year the exact date of the Carnival's burial is adjusted to the beginning of Great Lent.

Gáti snow festival
The Gáti snow festival is organised by the Tusnád Youth Organisation and the Local Council of Újtusnád at the hillside called 'Gáti's' at the weekend following 10 February.

International Traditional Pig Sticking Festival
Since 2006 the festival has been organised in Bálványosfürdõ on a yearly basis. In 2011 more than 1000 people gathered to see the 18 competing teams coming from three different countries. Not only the special meat-products of a particular region are presented in the festival, but also a variety of traditional drinks and cakes from different regions and countries. The organiser of the festival is Attila Daragus, head of tourist enterprise and vice president of the National Association of Rural Ecological and Cultural Tourism.

March

Celebrations of 15th March Revolution Day
In most of the villages of Csík celebrations are held to mark the first day of the 1848-1849 Hungarian Revolution. This event is of outstanding importance for Csíkkozmás and Kászonaltíz, as these two communes organise the Nyerges-Pass celebrations. On 15 March hundreds of people travel to the pass on horse-drawn carts and by cars to take part in the mass and the gala performance. Later politicians and other personalities pay reverence to the heroes who fought in the revolution. (A similar celebration is organised on 1 August, as well.)

April

The Day of Mount Büdös
The Day of Mount Büdös is organised in Bálványosfürdõ at the end of April. The aim of the festivity is to raise public awareness on the natural treasures of the Csomád-Bálványos Nature Reserve by organising nature preservation programmes and contests such as orienteering, fun expeditions in the forest, handicraft workshops or presentations of scientific papers.

May

The first weekend in May
At the first weekend in May Mothers' Day festivities are organised at schools and festival halls in Kászon, Tusnád and Csíkkozmás. Children sing, dance and recite poems. May is also the month when reunions of the 40-year-olds and 50-year-olds are organised, and First Communions take place at churches. Celebrations, festivities are organised almost every weekend somewhere in the county. In May the Lower-Csík Drama Group also organises a meeting in Kászonaltíz.

May Picnic at Cserefarka
People in Torja hold a May picnic on the field called 'Cserefarka'. Everybody brings blankets, brandy and different goodies. Trotter stew is cooked; folk-songs are sung.

The May Picnic of the Youth
Youth Days are traditionally organised in Nádasfürdõ, near Tusnád, at the first weekend of May.

County Days – Szeklerland's Days (around 20-27 May 2012)
For many years, Hargita County Days have been held in the week preceding the Csíksomlyó Whitsuntide Procession. Since 2011 the festivity has been organised under the name of Szeklerland's Days, emphasizing that the leaders of the three Szekler counties (Maros, Hargita and Kovászna Counties) cooperate for the benefit of the region's inhabitants. They work together, celebrate together, and advertise together the values of the region. The great variety of programmes covers the whole Hargita and Kovászna Counties, including Lake Saint Anne, Lázárfalva, Csíkkozmás as well as their surroundings. Further information is available on the following website: www.megyenapok.ro (in Hungarian and Romanian languages).

The Saturday before Whitsunday – Pilgrimage in Csíksomlyó
On the Saturday before Whitsunday villagers of Lower Csík take part in the indulgence pilgrimage and procession. Some of the believers arrive on foot; others get to Csíksomlyó by car, by bus or by train – often together with guests from Hungary, who travel to Csíksomlyó for this special occasion. Apart from the Roman Catholic pilgrims, an increasing number of people adherent to other religions take part in the procession and in the mass delivered in honour of the Virgin Mary.

June

Corpus Christi procession in Lázárfalva
Corpus Christi is a religious feast in honour of the Blessed Sacrament observed on the tenth day after Whitsunday. It always falls on a Thursday (7 June 2012, 30 May 2013). In Lázárfalva this is the day for indulgence of the church built in 1883.

Village Days in Kászon
The village days are held around 20 June. Although the events scheduled for the day change from year to year, some of them link to traditions and folk-customs. One of the main attractions of the day is the gigantic, 60-80 meter-long polenta.

Village Days in Torja
The village days, which have always enjoyed great success among the participants, are organised around 20 June every year. Once a tree of life was erected, on which one can read the names of those who were born the previous year. On another occasion a 150m X 32 m huge cheese polenta was made, which is registered in the 2008 edition of the Book of World Records issued by the World Records Academy. The biggest Szekler gate of the world has also been erected on the village days. It is 15.06 m wide, 9.45 m high, and it is made of oak. In 2011 a 15.15 m high carved maple column was inaugurated.

Middle of June – Tusnádfürdõ – Town Days
It is one of the most important events organised in the spa-town. The town days last for several days, and are focused on tourism, environmental protection as well as on sport.

July

nd July. Feast day commemorating the visit of the Blessed Virgin to Saint Elisabeth
In Futásfalva the Roman Catholic church, built in 1750, is a shrine of the Virgin Mary. The day of indulgence is observed on 2 July, the day commemorating the Visitation. The pilgrims walk along the one-kilometre-long Way of the Cross leading from the church to a nearby hill.


The 23rd Summer Open University of Bálványos
The 23rd Summer Open University of Bálványos is held between 24-19 July 2012. Every year politicians from Hungary and Romania meet in this summer camp to discuss about political, cultural and social issues. At night concerts are organised to entertain the hundreds of participants.

th July. Day of indulgence at Lake Saint Anne
On the Sunday before Saint Anne's Day hundreds of people take part in the mass delivered in the chapel situated by Lake Saint Anne. In the past years, the Lázárfalva Compossessorate has organised other programmes, as well. After the mass people have the possibility of entertaining themselves by participating in the several events organised on this day. For example in 2011 traditional Hungarian costume- and weapon-demonstration was held. The audience was entertained by the Tuzson János Brass Band from Csíkkozmás. Then a folk-dance performance was held on the stage built near the lake.

Minimum Party art camp – Kászonaltíz, Tiszástõ
In the last week of July – first week of August workshops, forums are organised for those who take part in the art camp. Tiszástõ, situated near Kászonaltíz, is the gathering place of action and movement artists, film operators, photographers, musicians and men of letters in a genuine, dramatic environment. The camp is organised by the Minimum Party Society founded in Kolozsvár. The main objective of the society is to promote contemporary art, and to support young Transylvanian artists who are at the beginning of their career. It encourages experimenting spirituality within a nonconformist approach. The date when the camp is organised in 2012 has not been scheduled yet.

Traditional handicraft manufacturers' camp in Lázárfalva
In 2006 a camp for shared work was organised on Malomtanya (Mill Homestead in English), the estate owned by the András Fund, to set up the premises for a dance-teaching centre. The camp is organised in July or August every year, and people of any age group can take part in it. The participants are instructed by local handicraftsmen, folk artists, eco-architects, as well as by landscape architects. Those interested can either take part in the building of Malomtanya, or choose to learn the ins and outs of pottery, stone cutting, woodcarving, furniture painting or joinery. Dance instructions are organised in the afternoons, and in the evenings people can entertain themselves by dancing to live folk music. The exact date when the camp is organised in 2012 has not been scheduled yet.

Village days in Kozmás
The village days are organised at the end of July or the beginning of August, around the anniversary date of the battle of Nyerges Pass (1 August). Fire brigade competitions and carriage-driving competitions are organised on the local sports-field.

August

Commemoration marking the battle of Nyerges-Pass

On 1 August or at the first weekend in August a celebration is held to commemorate the battle of Nyerges Pass. Hundreds of people travel to the pass on horse-drawn carts and by cars to take part in the mass and the gala performance. Politicians and other personalities pay reverence to the heroes who fought in the revolution. (A similar celebration is organised on 15 March, as well.) People often bring food and drink, and spend the whole day outdoors.

The Cycling Tour of the Szeklerland
In August the Town Council of Csíkszereda organises one of the most prestigious sports-contests of the region: the Cycling Tour of the Szeklerland. The contest was organised for the fifth time in 2011, with the participation of 108 competitors belonging to 15 teams from nine countries. The first stage of the cycling tour followed the route Tusnád-Nyerges Pass-Kézdivásárhely-Sepsiszentgyörgy-Kézdivásárhely-Nyerges Pass-Csíkszereda. Besides professionals, amateur cyclists are also welcome.

th August The feast day of the Assumption of Mary
This day indulgence is granted in the Sepsibükszád Roman Catholic church, which was built in honour of the Virgin Mary in 1867. On 15 August a day of indulgence is held in Kászonújfalu, too.


th August Commemoration of King Saint Stephen at Perkõ

On 20 August thousands of people, many of them coming from Torja, take part in the pilgrimage to the Perkõ Chapel in Kézdiszentlélek commemorating King Saint Stephen. The feast day starts with a mass, which is followed by a variety of events.

Commune days in Tusnád
In the third weekend of August the Commune Council of Tusnád organises the Tusnád Commune Days. Cooking contests, carriage-driving contests and sports competitions are organised; concerts are held.

September

The first Sunday in September – Feast of the Guardian Angels
The feast was first observed in the 16th century Spain, and it spread all over Europe in the 17th century. At first the feast was organised on the first Sunday in September, then, following a decree issued by Pope Pius X, it started to be observed on Archangel Michael's octave. Even in our days in Verebes the day of indulgence is held in the Guardian Angels' chapel on the first Sunday in September. The chapel was probably built in the second half of the 15th century, and it was rebuilt in the 18th century.

The Birth of the Virgin Mary
Between 1985 and 1990 a new Roman Catholic church was built in Tusnádfürdõ on the place of a demolished chapel. The day of indulgence is held on 8 September, on the day of Mary's Nativity.
The season of vintage balls
The second half of September and the whole October is the season of vintage balls. The balls are actually feasts marking the end of harvest. Although grapes do not grow in Csík, the end of the harvest is celebrated with grapes – a custom that became widespread in the 20th century. Lads on horseback and girls on horse-drawn carts sing and invite people to take part in the vintage ball. The ball is organised in the decorated festival hall of the village where besides dancing, funny games are organised. Grape wreaths are awarded to the winners.

October

Motorcyclist Meet in Kászon
Motorcyclist meets are organised in Kászon every year. The event is held on defferent dates. In 2011 it was organised in October. Participants are entertained with contests and concerts.

November

th November Saint Martin's Day
In Feltorja the day of indulgence is held on the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours.

December

Saint Nicholas Day
Kászonújfalu and Altorja hold their day of indulgence on Saint Nocholas Day, 6 December. However, Bishop Saint Nicholas is commemorated in all the churches of the region. Known under the name of Mikulás by the children, gift-binger Saint Nicholas is celebrated at schools and festival halls in Csíkkozmás, Kászon and Tusnádfürdõ on 5 December.

Christmas
Besides church festivities, concerts, Christmas tree decoration, New Year's Eve programmes, cabarets are organised, and local drama-groups perform plays in several villages. In Nagytusnád ice carnival is organised between Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Holy Innocents' Day in Kászonfeltíz

It was a custom throughout the Szeklerland that on the Holy Innocents' Day (28 December) the lads would switch the girls with birch twigs decorated with flowers and ribbons. In our days this tradition is still alive only in Kászonaltíz and in a few other villages. Schoolboys and lads of recruiting age take part together in the switching ceremony. At dawn they go down the streets of the village paying a visit to the girls' houses. On 28 December married young men also visit the women living in the neighbourhood and, while saying a poem, they playfully switch the women. After being switched, the ties a ribbon on each lad's twig.

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