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  • History of the Dance
    Posted: January 30, 2017 - 4:33pm

    The tradition of religious dance at La Tirana has both indigenous and Spanish roots. After the War of the Pacific, in the late 19th century, the feast at La Tirana became a feast for the Virgen del Carmen, the patroness of Chile.

  • Introduction
    Posted: January 25, 2017 - 4:09pm

    Normally a town of fewer than 1,000 people, La Tirana fills with more than 200,000 people during the feast, which centers on the feast day of the Virgen del Carmen (July 16), but lasts from July 10-19.

  • Dancing for the Virgin at La Tirana
    Posted: January 24, 2017 - 2:30pm

    In La Tirana, northern Chile, in one of the driest deserts in the world, 200,000 people come together each July for 10 days of dancing at a sanctuary and feast dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen.

  • Csíksomlyó Pilgrimage
    Posted: January 5, 2017 - 10:24am

    The pilgrimage to Csíksomlyó for Pentecost is one of the largest annual gatherings of any kind in Romania, attracting 50,000 to 100,000 attendees each year.

  • Devotion to the Virgin Mary
    Posted: December 16, 2016 - 4:23pm

    Devotion to the Virgin Mary is a strong and everyday part of life in the Transylvanian Hungarian and Catholic community. Attendance at Mass is visibly larger on annual holidays dedicated to Mary, and pilgrimages and prayer circles honor her.

  • Family, Marriage & Gender Roles
    Posted: December 12, 2016 - 11:43am

    Annual calendrical rituals associated with Lent, Easter and Christmas often assume traditional complementary gender roles, but you will see women and men relate to each other in a very different manner in regular life.

  • Radio Maria Transylvania
    Posted: December 12, 2016 - 10:42am

    Talking about miracles is most popular among volunteers with the new Transylvanian branch of the World Family of Radio Maria, a Catholic media network. The volunteer efforts by women who give their time to Radio Maria are making it more acceptable to tell stories about asking the Virgin Mary for help, but many Catholics in Romania still worry about what others will think if they speak about divine intercessions.

  • Weddings
    Posted: December 8, 2016 - 2:31pm

    Two wedding traditions special to Romanian Catholics include friends of the groom building an arbor of pine poles and flowers to mark the groom's house, and a procession to call out the bride on the day of her wedding. Today's wedding couples prefer contemporary music, while older generations belt out traditional ballads.

  • Saint Anthony of Padua
    Posted: December 8, 2016 - 11:59am

    The Virgin Mary is the most popular saint among Catholics in Romania, but married women and mothers also rely on Saint Anthony of Padua for help in many circumstances. Saint Anthony of Padua was a Franciscan monk who lived in the early 17th century, and he is widely associated with the Order of Franciscans, the largest order of clergy and priests active in Transylvania today. Although Saint Anthony is popularly known for finding lost things, and devotees say that he is particularly dedicated to helping mothers and children in danger.

  • Pilgrimages
    Posted: December 8, 2016 - 11:44am

    The Pentecost pilgrimage to Csíksomlyó is one of the largest annual religious gatherings in Romania. Meanwhile, two smaller pilgrimages take place in the Csík valley each year, one to visit and leave wildflowers at a statue of Saint Anthony, and another to remember the murder of a 16th-century cardinal.

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