The 43rd edition of the traditional shepherd festival Nedeia Munţilor will open tomorrow, July 15, and last till Sunday, July 17, 2011. The festival takes place in Fundata, on the Giuvala Plateau. It includes an ancient shepherd fair, as well as folk concerts, dance, and regional cuisine, where the main highlight is Fundata’s celebrated “burduf” cheese wrapped in fir bark. Visitors also get the chance to admire traditional folk costumes from the area, and learn more about the local shepherds, their lifestyle and their ancestral customs.
Originally Nedeii meant the climbing of the mountain, and had magic and mythical significance, connecting with the sacred. Today, the tradition has evolved to include exchange of products, and to establish economic relations between Romanians on the two slopes of the Carpathians: Transylvania and Wallachia (Ţara Românească). Fundata makes the connection between these two historical and geographical regions.
The festival starts tomorrow at 21.00 at the Fundata Town Hall, with a presentation of the local pastoral traditions. The evening will conclude with a traditional “hora of Nedeia” open to public participation. The festival continues Saturday with a festive parade featuring locals dressed up in national costumes, and inviting tourists to follow a 6km route on horseback or in wagons. Throughout the day, tourists can also see craftsmen demonstrations, and participate to folk dance classes. The purpose of the event is to keep alive Fundata’s local traditions, however, the festival will also include participants from other municipalities in the country, who will have their own stands selling other local delicacies, including smoked cheese and pastrami. Thus, tourists can enjoy more varied tastings, and learn more about those locations.