The Feast of Saint Margaret of the Árpád House [“Árpád-házi Szent Margit”] January 18th is the feast of Saint Margaret of the Árpád House, and we celebrate it with an indulgence procession in Csutakfalva. During the procession, people and priests gather together from surrounding villages as well and, when kneeling in front of Saint Margaret of the Árpád House, we pay homage to one of the mostrevered Hungarian saints.
THE CARNIVAL FINALE IN REMETEA
The carnival starts on the Catholic feast of Epiphany and lasts until Ash Wednesday, with the celebrations reaching their peak as from Sunday until Tuesday evening – this period is called the “Tail of the Carnival”. It celebrates spring, and the fact that spring has vanquished winter, cold and darkness. In Székelyland, almost every village has its own traditions with regard to the “burial” of the carnival – or the “carnival finale” as it is referred to here. At the beginning of the nineties, tradition-preserving groups under the auspices of the Harghita county cultural centre united these customs within one collective feast held towards the end of the carnival.
The carnival finale is organized by the tradition-preserving groups from Remetea, the cultural centre, and the REMISZ [Remetea Youth Association], who burn a dummy symbolising winter on the square in front of the cultural hall. Tradition-preserving groups from Remetea, also take part regularly in the regional carnival finale celebrations.
THE CSERES TIBOR DAYS
Every year, in the month of April, the Fráter György Primary School holds its Cseres Tibor Days. The event usually includes Hungarian language games to exercise proficiency in the students’ mother tongue, a drawing contest, film projections and sports competitions. The high point of the festivities is a poetry recital competition, in which pupils from the local schools, schools from the surrounding area, and from Biatorbágy in Hungary take part. The Cseres Tibor Days end with a gala programme. The Procession for the blessing of the wheat Religious processions are spectacular and have great spiritual value for the people living in the village. In communist times, they were restricted to the churchyard or within the cemetery. After 1990, the villagers wanted to revive their old traditions, and so they once again held processions on days of great religious significance, when people parade as far as the village’s territorial boundaries, and sometimes go even further, arriving within the boundaries of neighbouring villages. The mass of the blessing of the wheat used to take place on April 25th – Saint Mark’s Day – but now it is celebrated on the following Sunday. The people in the procession pray fervently for the crops “not to be destroyed by frosts, flattened by gales, scorched by heat waves or destroyed by torrential rains.” The procession from Remetea unites with the procession from Ditrău, and the wheat blessing service is officiated jointly by both parishes.
THE REMETEA’S YOUTH DAYS
The Remetea Youth Association [REMISZ] was founded in 2002. Every year in April, it organises the Remetea Youth Days. The event lasts for two or three days, and includes sports and tradition- related activities. There are drawing, bicycling and artistic competitions, film projections, cultural events and folkloric dance performances.
THE MARTONKA REUNION
Martonka is a now-deserted hamlet, but in 1950, there were more than one hundred people living there. They were working the land and grazing animals. Between 1949 and 1976, there was a primary school there. Later, partly due to the communist policies of breaking-up rural communities and partly because of the lack of infrastructure, the hamlet’s population dispersed in the seventies and eighties, and now there are only a few run-down houses in remembrance of the hamlet that once existed. In June 2004, the former inhabitants of Martonka started organising a yearly meet every June, in the place where they used to live. Three or four hundred people from Remetea generally attend the event where an open-air mass is celebrated after which there are haystack-carrying competitions, sack races, football matches and – frequently – impromptu dances. Many people, now white-haired, meet their old neighbours again, talk about their childhood memories and, at least for one day a year, behave like owners of the place that they left long ago but that still feels like their own.