Parties Before The Wedding Day

On Saturday, there would be all sorts of preparations in various houses. At the bridegroom's house friends of his of the same age would gather. From among them the 'callers' were chosen, i.e., those who would go through the village with a festooned flask inviting relatives and neighbours of the bridegroom, bride and godfather[1] to the wedding. In Transylvania, the best men were called "Vornici," or "Gazdă," and the bridesmaids "Druşte." In Oltenia they were called "Colţunari" and, respectively, "Colţunărese." These young people had to prepare the groom and the bride for the wedding and to stand by them throughout the event. A party whose aim was to decorate the flagpole (Transylvania) or the fir tree (Oltenia, Moldova) would be organised at the future husband's place, and boys and girls would take part in it. They would adorn a spear with the girls' kerchiefs, ribbons, tassels, bells and evergreens. The predominant colours were red (life, joy) and green (vitality). In the south, the fir was adorned with ribbons, knot-shaped little breads and a bell. The fir has always symbolised dignity (verticality) and youth. The flag or fir are fundamental symbols of the wedding, referring to the fertilising role of the masculine element of a couple, guardians of the whole ceremony carried at the head of the procession by a particular person called "Stegarul" or "Brădaşul" (the flag or fir bearer). The bridesmaids would gather at the bride's place for the party called "the beads." Here, the girls would also prepare the presents that would be offered to the wedding guests (handkerchiefs, flowers).

by Steluţa Indrei