Dragaica (Sanzienele) Romania

Dragaica (or Sanzienele) is an important Midsummer Day festival and fair which takes place on the 24th of June, when a specific Romanian lively folk dance is performed.

When the harvest is almost ripe, the girls from the village gather together to choose Dragaica. This is the name given to the most beautiful and hard-working peasant girl who is selected to lead the dance. A procession is formed, sweeping through the fields. A wreath is plaited of grain stalks and put on Dragaica’s head. The practice has auspicious and benefic functions.

To the tune of a lad playing the flute or the bagpipe, the girls dance a jig from house to house, while singing ironic verse:” Jig, Dragaica, jig,/For in winter you will spin/Till your fingers will grow thin.”

Dragaica or the procession of lasses is an agrarian midsummer custom in preparation for reaping.

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