Burial in Maramures

In the Maramures popular belief, death is the last season, the winter of life, returning to the earth from which new slips will sprout in spring. When a family member died, the bells would toll thrice a day (until burial day). The family members would wear black traditional attire; women would have their hair loose or wear black head kerchiefs.

After the bath of the deceased, he would be clothed in the clothes prepared before his passing and he would be put in a coffin so that the people would say goodbye. In the coffin there had to be some tree bark, white linen and a pillow. The eyes of the deceased would be closed, not to see the bereavement surrounding him, and the mirrors would be covered or turned towards the wall.

The burial would be held the third day– a moment of grief and mourning for the family and the entire community. According to the rules of conduct imposed by the rural social life, not only family members were involved in the burial organisation, but also the community members.

Leading the convoy were men waving flags embellished with cloth and braided bread. Those who carried the tree for burial, and later followed by the ox-driven carriage and the bereaved family, relatives, and villagers followed them.

At the house of the deceased, there would be a proper ceremony, represented by a moment of solidarity for the family who lost a member.