A land of tradition and customs

Autumn – when God decided to paint the leaves of trees in gold and copper colours to delight both soul and eyes, and the sunsets in violent violet combined with intense orange and burned pink timidly coming upon the earthlings every evening. The autumn’s delight is not only visual, but also sensorial, especially felt by our taste buds.

We consider ourselves lucky that the iELM production activities take place in one of the most beautiful countries of Eastern Europe; thus, with each passing season we discover how wonderful and genuine Romania is. This place envelops us in mystery and tradition, teaches us how to cherish life itself, gives us an inexhaustible source of beauty that we apply with dedication and admiration in all creative processes developed at iELM.

Romanians are scrupulously maintaining old and ancient traditions, respecting the sequence and authenticity of holidays in their culture. We are curious and we want to explore the diversity of this Planet, so we have done a little research about the main autumn traditions of the Romanian people.

It is said that the tradition of autumn crop harvesting originates in the Thracian lands, or where the Romanians’ ancestors – the Dacians – lived. Thus, in autumn the villagers celebrate: with great cheerfulness the Harvest Day, with special rituals the Autumnal Equinox, skillfully the vintage and the must preparation, and with delight the Transylvanian truffle hunting.

Copyright & Photo Credit: Răzvan Voiculescu

Beginning even at the end of August beans without pods and some little mushrooms appear. They are followed by the garden cucumbers, potatoes, delicious apples, pears, super quinces, plums, nuts (walnut tree beating), dry onions and cauliflower. But September is mainly dedicated to grapes and then leeks. In October, the cabbage, the pumpkin (only after the frost covered it) and elderberries are harvested. Almost in winter time in November, we have the underbrush. The harvest of all these fruits and vegetables is the harvest of fruitage the villagers worked for in spring and summer, and it is a really special moment, celebrated in local festivals, fairs, traditional dances and a general feeling of wellbeing. Here, children still have the chance to eat fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, grown by small communities of farmers who respect the sequence of seasons.

Since ancient times, as good knowers of the solar calendar, the Dacians who lived in caves on the current territory of Romania, practiced specific rituals of the area on the day of the Autumnal Equinox to tame the winter ahead and so that the following year be one with many fruits of  the earth.

Officially vintage begins on September 14th, and the first autumn grape must is made by stomping the grapes in the nut tree basket. Winter truffles are hunted from September to December.

With the coming of autumn, tradition urges us to begin regeneration and introspection, as Nature does.

Autumn – when God decided we would be happy.

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