Each July the people of Cârţa celebrate the Reaping Mace. In the morning the procession walks singing from the centre of the village to the host’s land where the elderly teach the youngsters how to reap the ears and tie the sheaves. At the end the women tie the sheaves in a cross and then place the crosses to shape a mace.
When they return to the village, the procession is led by two little girls carrying the mace. On the streets of the village the procession is welcomed by women splashing fresh water on the reapers in sign of prosperity, affluence and health. The procession stops at the host’s house to receive their reward for the help they gave. The reapers are welcomed with a table full of delicacies. After the “Wheat’s Song” dance the mace is taken to the church where the locals pray for a rich autumn.
Did you know...?
The reaping tradition was born from the belief that the wheat has a spirit hiding in the last ears, which must be protected in the reaping crown and which symbolises the end of a vegetal cycle.