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'The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery' Festival reinforces Romanian traditions on the European map


The Intercultural Maramures Tradition Festival 'The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery' returns over August 12 - 16 to Sapanta, a community in the extreme north of the Romania, which acquired world fame thanks to the humorous twist whereby death is treated in the local cemetery, with its colorful grave markers inscribed with witty epitaphs.

According to the organizers, the entire event is conceived so as to reinforce Maramures on the cultural and tourist map of Europe, Agerpres informs.

This year's edition includes concerts of traditional and symphonic music, craft workshops, food tastings and visits to the homes of the Maramures craftsmen who will offer tourists a live display of their skills.

As many as 120 musicians from Romania, Ireland, Scotland and Spain will perform during the event, and famous Irish composer Shaun Davey - who has a special bond to this place - will enchant the public on the festival meadow with a collection of classical compositions in first audition. Davey is the author of the 'Voices from the Merry Cemetery' suite, inspired by the famous Sapanta cemetery, with the lyrics adapted from the epitaphs carved on the wooden crosses.

'Through this festival we try to promote authentic values, bring them to the public's attention,' said Peter Hurley, director and initiator of the festival, now turned honorary citizen of the Sapata commune.

The Intercultural Maramures Tradition Festival 'The Long Road to the Merry Cemetery' is aimed at boosting tourism to this area, preserving local traditions and crafts and highlighting traditional culture against the European backdrop. The festival is organized this year with EU funding under the Regional Operational Programme, and also enjoys financial support from a company that partially covers the project's non-eligible costs.