The maiden fair (Târgul de Fete) at Găina Mountain, one of the oldest traditional events organized in the country, take place this weekend, on July 20 and July 21. The fair is usually organized close to the Saint Ilie celebration, marked on July 20.
The fair kicks off in Avram Iancu, the closest locality to Găina Mountain. The commune, which comprises 33 villages, is located in the northwestern part of Alba county.
The fair includes a variety of events, from exhibitions, crafts workshops and traditional music concerts to fireworks and open-air parties.
Tulnicăresele din Avram Iancu, an ensemble of women playing the tulnic (pictured), a long, horn-like instrument typical of the Apuseni Mountains, will deliver one of the highlight moments of the fair.
The Maiden Fair was first documented in 1816 but it is believed to be older than that. It was one of the best known popular events of the Romanians in Transylvania. It emerged out of the need of communication between the inhabitants of the valleys of Arieşului and Crişurilor, who lived in isolated and scattered settlements. Besides the economic relationships, the fair brought, in time, matrimonial relationships as many participants found their partners there. Today the event is no longer a matchmaking one but an opportunity to preserve and promote traditional culture, crafts and dress.
The program of the fair is available here.