Cultural events and festivals
Throughout the year, Romanians celebrate their ancient heritage, changing seasons, religious holidays and life-cycle events, such as birth, marriage and death, with festivals that have remained unchanged for centuries. Some of Europe`s most traditional folkways are meticulously preserved here, with young celebrants wearing the same costumes and dancing the same steps to tunes played on instruments traditional to their forefathers since time immemorial.
Festivals provide wonderful opportunities for visitors to getting experience and know better the traditions and daily life. Major festivals throughout the year include:
The Traditional Crafts Fair, in June-July
Crafts enthusiasts from all over Romania gather at the Village Museum in Bucharest to offer free demonstrations of traditional woodcarving, rug weaving, glass blowing, textile weaving and embroidering, pottery molding, egg painting and much more.
Bucharest of Old, in July
Celebration of the city as it was 150 years ago. Parade of 1800s costumes, horse-drawn carriages, traditional food, music and special performances.
Medieval Days, in Sighisoara, in July
Three-day celebration of medieval arts, crafts, music.
The Maidens Fair (Targul de Fete), in July
Traditional matchmaking festival where villagers in traditional costume walk up to Gaina Mountain for dancing, feasting and choosing a mate.
Dance at Prislop (Hora de la Prislop), in August
Traditional celebration of ties among three of Romanias main regions: Transylvania, Moldova and Maramures. Villagers parade in traditional costume to Prislop Pass in the Carpathian Mountains, then participate in traditional dances, singing and feasting.
Romanias Folk Art Festival, in August
Initiation in folk art creation (pottery molding, textile embroidering, woodcarving and more) offered, for free, by preeminent folk artists to those interested in traditional crafts.
Sambra Oilor, in September
festival marking the return of the sheep herds from the Mountains.
Wine Making Festival, in October
Celebration marking beginning of the grape harvest.
Halloween in Transylvania, in November
Tours, shows and celebrations following the footsteps of Bram Stokers novel character, Count Dracula.
Christmas Traditions Festival
Arranged in December.
Chinese New Year Celebrations:
It is arranged every year in Bucharest, in Nichita Stanescu Park with live shows, food exhibitions, firework displays and a red sea of paper lanterns.
International Film Festival:
First held in 2005, Bucharests International Film Festival, or B-EST IFF, opens the citys Cultural Spring celebrations. Partnered by the Romanian Ministry of Culture, it offers a busy week.
Bucharest of Old:
It is organised in every May, in Bucharest. During the fest the city steps back in time for the Bucharest of Old festival, celebrating the city as it was 200 years ago. You can see here the parades of 19th-century costumes, rides in horse-drawn carriages, traditional food and musical performances.
It is Romanias international music festival, presenting a series of concerts by top classical musicians, jazz, blues and pop bands from around 50 countries.
Transylvania International Film Festival:
Romanias only international film festival, the Transylvania International Film Festival takes over three cinemas in the Transylvanian capital, Cluj Napoca.
Bucharest Street Music Festival:
The weekend-long Bucharest Street Music Festival takes place throughout Bucharests charming old city centre, bringing back the sounds of the medieval troubadours.
Transilvania International Guitar Festival:
Annualy arranged festival, generally in August. Distinguished guitar figures present their hits at the Transilvania International Guitar Festival held at cultural locations around Cluj Napoca. Highlights are recitals of famous interpreters, masterclasses, lectures and seminars, and international guitar competitions.
Eastern European Vintage Bike Rally:
Since 1946, the Eastern European Vintage Bike Rally has been tearing up the turf in Transylvania. A shared love of bikes unites riders from across Romania and further afield in the historic town of Turda. Generally organised in July.
Johann Strauss International Festival:
The Johann Strauss International Festival in Bucharest is a week-long celebration of classical music. Held at venues around the city, including the George Enescu Musuem, it features classical concerts, opera recitals, organ recitals, and a closing concert from a 22-piece salon orchestra. Musicians arrive from Romania, Germany, Vienna and the UK.
International Furniture and Interior Design Fair (BIFE-TIMB):
It is Romania`s international furniture and interior design fair, held annually at ROMEXPO, attracting more than 400 participants from around 18 countries.
International Jazz Festival:
Stretching over 11 days, the International Jazz Festival add flavor to Bucharest`s contemporary music scene, hosting more than 30 bands, workshops by renowned musicians and jazz composers, album launches and other cultural activities at the ARCUB centre.
In Romania (mainly in Bucharest) you can find other festivals and sport events too. Every September you can visit the BCR Open Romania ATP Tennis tournament, in Sibiu they arrange the Red Bull Romanics Rally in September. It would be also an interesting program to visit the Autumn Fair (traditional Romanian wedding with music, food and costumes, etc) or eXplore Dance Festival as well as Winter Gifts Festival.
There is no doubt that the folk festivals are the most spectacular events. While some festival dates remain fixed, others change year by year so its better to check before your trip.