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“The Bathing of the Johns” is a custom that has been preserved at Tălmăcel since ancient times, which is still organized on a yearly basis.
When dawn breaks on St. John the Baptist Day the entire village is humming with the holiday spirit. After the religious ceremony, the procession made of up horseback riding young men with national flags, children and lads in traditional costumes, an oxen-driven carriage decorated with cloths and beads and little donkeys with a straw-made old man and woman at the end heads to the river.
Once they get to the river, the lads sing traditional songs and bathe all those named “John”, one by one. And to forget about the freezing cold, the bathed Johns are rewarded with bagels, wine and brandy. Then the celebration continues on the narrow streets of the village with specific local dancing and singing.
The Bathing of the Johns has become a truly spectacular holiday which gives us a bit of the village’s joyfulness and emotion.
Did you know...?
John (Ion) is one of the most common Romanian names. The spiritual patron saint of those bearing this name is St. John the Baptist celebrated on the 7th of January. The Johns from the village are brought to the river in a procession and they are baptised to have their sins forgiven and enjoy and affluent New Year.