Saints’ days, and village days: creating the space for community events in Romanian Banat
Keywords: Community, Festivals, Participatory dance
The annual celebration of designated days in villages is a widespread custom in southeastern Europe and beyond. In Christian locations these are often linked to the day of the patron saint of the village church. In Romanian Banat these are usually called ruga, plural ruge (literally prayer). Alternately the day of the village known in Romanian Banat as ziua, plural zilele (meaning day(s)) can be chosen for secular or practical reasons. This paper draws on a five-year case study in Romanian Banat that covers around eighty Saints’ days (Ruge) or village days (Zilele). It presents a comparative analysis of the ‘framing’ of the event space that covers both the functional preparation of the event space and the socially constructed space during the event. This includes an examination of the interrelationship between the physical design of the event space, the actions within the social space during these events, and the community’s knowledge or desire for participation.