Even though the autumn is here, I'm still thinking about the summer, maybe because it seemed to be too short... So, for scoring this bread, part of my project “Sourdough Bread Storytelling – The Romanian Traditional Village”, I had in my mind a custom from a Transylvanian village.
This was an important agrarian ceremonial, called “Making the Mace” and its purpose was to symbolically fertilize the next harvest by the locals.
There were always twelve boys performing this custom, and each of them used to take his girlfriend too. Then, together with local musicians who were paid by the priest, they were going to a wheat field ready to be harvested, where they were singing and laughing.
According to the custom, on the wheat field they were not allowed to talk with their girlfriends. The girls' part in this ritual was to pick up wheat spices and to make with them 12 bouquets of 12 spices each.
When the girls were ready, the boys used to lay on the ground traditional handmade towels and the girls put their bouquets there. The whole atmosphere was one of joy and full of singing.
The boys, in the meantime, used to make a crown of field weed, on which they fixed the twelve bouquets of spices.
When everything was ready, the boys used to shout “Vivat life!” and then they were returning to the priest's house, who used to honor them with traditional breads called “lipii” and with sweet rolls.
I heard this story from a retired teacher who lives in a Transylvanian village.
Whoever is interested in discovering the authentic rural Romania and its amazing stories, should send me a message.
I organize special workshops where sourdough bread baking is blended with rural travels, photo tours & storytelling.
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