The third Sunday of July, thousands of Romanian people dressed up in traditional clothes descend to Gaina Mountain hoping to meet „that special someone”.
The Maidens’ Fair at Mount Gaina was once a place where families used to bring their adolescent children and arrange weddings. The festival is always opened by women from Avram Iancu, dressed up in our folk costume, who use to play the famous mountain musical intrument made from chopped wood, that certainly produces amazing sounds: the alpenhorn.
The celebration can be explained by the fact that the inhabitants of the Apuseni Mountains are scattered and thier homes are far apart. The houses are kilometres away from each other and divided by mountains. However, also the mountains kept them together for all these years. Throughout history, people established a convenient meeting place to enable them to meet and keep in touch.
The legend of the Maidens’ Fair said that a magic hen („gaina” in Romanian) who laid golden eggs was brought here, in the Apuseni Mountains, by some fairies. Once a year, young couples that really loved each other received one of these magic eggs as a present. Local people think that a couple can be happy only if their wedding is done on Mount Gaina.
Nowadays, the festival is held every year on the 20th of July and still attracts people from all the regions of the country to enjoy music, traditional dances and other local festivities.
Olimpia Copacenaru, Class 8A, school no 92, Bucharest