Religious holiday of the Roman Catholic Church

Holiday in Pîncota

During one weekend in mid-August, the Catholic Church celebrates the Assumption. Many churches, monasteries and places of pilgrimage honor this celebration, one of them being the Catholic church in the town of Pâncota, Arad county.

Pâncota is a town in the wine region of Arad. It was mostly inhabited by German settlers, and it represents the northern part of the Archdiocese of Timisoara. The Roman Catholic church in this town was dedicated to the Feast of the Assumption 209 years ago. This Feast has been celebrated in Pâncota ever since, with only a few interruptions, according to Swabian tradition in Banat. Of the 800 souls of the once German community, there are only 20 families of German descent left. One of them is mayor Josef Retter.

This feast has always been celebrated in Pâncota, even if there were some disruptions throughout history, such as during the deportations to Russia or towards the end of the communist regime. However, these breaks introduced a new tradition: if the celebration bouquet is not won at the auction, it stays in the church, and the feast isn’t celebrated for another 7 years. This happened in 1986, when the Germans awaited their departure from the communist camp. Georg Borbely took out the bouquet in in 1993. In 2000 he formed the first pair of the feast with his current wife Simona. This year his children Gerhard Nikolas and Ingrid Maria formed the first pair.

There is no longer a local German forum in Pâncota, because they are not paying members. An initiative group is mantained, though, in order to organize the festivities. Yvonne Seifert is one of the members of the group. The young people who participated in the festivities used to gather at the first couple’s home, on the former German alley. From here, they marched to the Catholic Church. The pace and the mood were provided by wind instruments. The religious service was officiated by local priest Ioan Ciuraru, alongside Swabian songs of Mary (Marienlieder).

After the religious ceremony, the couple went to the parsonage and danced three dances of honor. Marching to the music, they returned to the house the first couple’s house. Only here was meeting youth and afternoon marching again in the center. On their way, they stopped by homes of German families who have lost a family member last year, in order to pay homage to them.

The tree for this holiday had already been decorated in the city park. Under it there was dancing, the main dancers uttered old sayings, and  the adorned rosemary bouquet was auctioned. The festival was briefly interrupted by the first rain of summer, but the youth was not intimidated and continued the celebrations. There was a winner who received the bouquet, so that the event will take place next year. Robert Krieb will organize the 210th edition of the feast in Pâncota, in which small but united German community will take part again.

Traditional German clothing in Pîncota

Young girls and women wore light colored clothing and dark the elderly. This consists of:

White shirt whose sleeves were embroidered and front. Above Wear a long-sleeved blouse that ends with a portion of ruffles and reaches over skirt. The skirt reached to her ankles, wearing underneath 02/03 cotton petticoats that were fenced and provided with lace by hand. Skirt and blouse were made of silk or other fine material with a floral pattern. Above bind apron skirt, fitted with embroidery or lace also.

As head covering she wears a headscarf, silk, linen or cashmere. The hair underneath was worn in a bun, was trapped under kerchief. Footwear consists of closed flat shoes (on foot) or open shoes flat shoes in summer and dark in winter.

The men wore white shirts with cute woven fabric with high neck, cuffs tight. In summer and during the week wore white linen trousers, provided at the bottom with embroidery Ajur. Sunday and holiday pants were dark, narrow range above the knees and below the knee. During the summer they wore black hats in winter warm fur hats.

This port has changed along the time. Thus it has emerged as the new traditional clothing of World War II. Austrian and Hungarian influence some elements have led to the following port:

The girls wore short-sleeved white blouses with black lace at the neck and cuffs, white skirts, belts and black shorts. Men wore black trousers, white shirt and a vest with wide metal buttons. As head coverings they wore black hats. This port has been preserved to this day in Pâncota.

It should be emphasized that Pancota (although – or perhaps because it is a settlement north Germans of Banat) are among the few localities only, or who celebrates today the feast. This celebration occurs under a new form adapted as one of the biggest festivals of the town, where residents can participate Germans living here yet and Romanians and Hungarians who wish to attend and celebrate.

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