This man is taking away the ready bearskin from Asau one day before the procession.
Gathering strength before setting off. A whole-day marching in bearskin is very exhausting.
Children on the day of procession in Asau. Wearing bearskin is a serious physical effort. Children’s bearskin is over ten kilos each.
Although several villages keep this ritual, Asau has become famos for the „pole dance”, and the huge drum that is hit by two drumsticks during the ritual.
The company performing the authentic choreography is well-renowned. Comanesti’s main stunt at the festival is this performance despite the fact that it is a big festival with a lot of participating groups.
The group members are accustomed to each other. They take care of their appearance, behaviour, as well as each others’ costumes. They do not make a slip, as it would damage the reputation.
Procession in Comanesti.
They are kept for future generations and renewed, repaired every year. They are put on after meticulous preparation, and it is a great honour for the new person to get the costume of a previous member.
The „Urálás” (farewell & welcome ceremony) starts at Christmas and ends at the first evening of the new year. Besides new year’s good wishes it plays a role in keeping away the harmful spirits.
Aszó (Asau in Romanian) is a municipality consisting of six settlements in Moldavia, in the valley of Trotus river. It is next to Comanesti. Every year after Christmas before the new year there’s a „bear dance”. Asau dwellers have a famous group of „bear dancers” that was founded in the sixties. Although several villages keep this ritual, Asau has become famos for the „pole dance”, and the huge drum that is hit by two drumsticks during the ritual. The bearskins are given great care. They are kept for future generations and renewed, repaired every year.