The Young Men Parade

The Young Men Parade have place in “Scheii Brasovului” every year, in the first Sunday after the Orthodox Easter (Thomas Sunday). It is a ceremony-style-spectacle in which are combined ancestral and pagan ritual elements with the Christian elements. Originally this custom used to be an initiation ritual for the young people which were considered after the ceremony as being “sons” (men). In Transylvania, a “young man” means an unmarried young. The columnist Julius Teutsch, through his archeological research, demonstrated that since 1913 at the place where develops the ceremony of the Young Men Parade (at the Solomon’s Stones) used to be a Dacian citadel which was destroyed during the Roman-Dacian wars. The columnist tells that “The young men Parade” should be regarded as a remnant of the pagan era, an ancient spring festival which celebrates the revival of nature, it must be considered a pre-Christian religious cult, being a custom which is known since the Dacians. The same opinion was expressed in 1839 by George Baritiu which was a journalist, the founder of the “Transylvania Gazette” and also by the historian Vasile Oltean in the historical monograph “The Young Men from Brasov and their shrines from Scheii Brasovului” which appeared in 2000. Both of them believed that the young men’s ethno genesis has Geto-Dacians and Roman origins.

In fact, “The Young Men Parade” means a group of men wearing traditional clothes and grouped in distinct companions which gathers in “Piata Unirii” (the former “Prundului”) for riding toward the Brasov Citadel. The Young Men companions are organized by tradition: they are led by Clerks, the big gun carrier, the little gun carrier (serge) and they gather all in the morning feast in front of the St. Nicholas Church, around the Captain’s Ilie Birt Crucifix, singing “Christ has risen”. Each group has a well established place in “Piata Unirii” where all gather for starting to ride towards the central city.

There are seven different companions arranged in a traditional order, depending on the age of the companion. First comes “Junii Tineri”, then “Junii Batrani”, “Junii Curcani”, “Junii Dorobanti”, “Junii Brasovecheni”, “Junii Rosiori” and “Junii Albiori”. In front of this procession is the fanfare, followed by the companions which are led each other by a clerk. After the clerk comes the ensign man being escorted by two gun carriers and then comes the entire companion of the young men. The rout is being saintly respected each year. From the crucifix it descends on the “Muresenilor” street until the “Revolution Boulevard”, it passes through the front Hall and through the front of the Brasov’s prefecture, it climbs the “Nicolae Balcescu” Street, it passes “Poarta Schei” (the Schei Gate) and climbs on the “Captain Ilie Birt” Street, “Pe Tocile” Street and on “Podul Cretului” Street until the Solomon’s Stones (The end of the village). During all this time, the procession is welcomed into the cheers and applause of thousands of Brasov’s inhabitants and tourists. As an answer for this warm welcoming, the young men invite the spectators to the Solomon’s Stones for celebrating this great holiday.

At the Solomon’s Stones, used to be the old Dacian Citadel, the young men occupy both of the natural plateaus furnished since the ancestors with tables (once, ground elevation and today being covered by wood and metal having banks around), each of the companions having a well established place. The holiday starts with a traditional circular dance (“Hora Junilor”) followed by a mace throwing contest, all of these during the playing of the melody for “Hora junilor”. After this, the girls are invited to dance on traditional rhythms like “hora”, “sarba”, “batuta”, “breaza”, etc. It is an extraordinary holiday where are invited all the people from “Schei” and many guests, with big meals and a lot of joy. At the end of the party, the young men are getting arranged in companions in the same order as they came, going back in “Piata Unirii”. As soon as they get there, they occupy the same place they had before and are singing for the last time “Christ has risen”, following to start riding to their homes.

The Young men spectacular Parade is given by the riding companions who cross the Citadel with the fanfare playing and beside this, is also given by the traditional costumes of a special beauty, inherited from father to son. Each companion has its specific costumes and each member wears in a way or another ribbons in the national colors. These ribbons which are worn by some of the companions at the hat and by others at the sling or being sewn on the girdle are the result of the Austro-Hungarian domination when the Romanian flag was forbidden and when the young men have found this way to assert their nationality and the ancestral land they belonged to. It must be remarked the young men’s special attention for the horses which are very beautiful specimens being decorated with flowers, colored tassels and tricolor badges, and also representing an attraction for the spectators. Besides, most of the horses belong to the one who ride them, few of them being rented. This procession is an inedited manner to end the “Shiny Week”, a life triumph over the death (the spring’s triumph over the winter), and an ancestral custom which overlapped with the Jesus Christ Nativity fest, all these having in fact the same signification: life always wins no matter the weather and “times”. It is the total spectacle named “The Toung Men Parade” from “Scheii Brasovului”. 

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Written by Paul

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Spitalul Clinic de Urgenta Sf. Pantelimon din Bucuresti Spitale din Bucuresti UPU Bucuresti Institutii medicale