The unique traditions were born in the heart of the village. In order to make the winter evenings warmer after the land work was completed, the women from Oaș gathered after dinner, at the handcrafting evening, a few times a week. They gathered around the clay stove to process the wool and the hemp, to make folk ornaments, to dance and sing. Through social games, these evenings were the perfect occasion to integrate the young generation into the social life of the village. However, the main purpose of these evening gatherings was to pass the traditional craft knowledge to future generations in order to preserve the cultural heritage of the area.
In order to protect its significance and to take on the critical role of carrying on traditions, the traditional „Handcrafting evening gathering” is organised every year in Negrești-Oaș at the Outdoor Oaș Land Museum. And since we could trully make something valuable only by looking at our roots, the hosts of the event were the people entitled to offer us an authentic handcrafting evening gathering, as it was back in the days, i.e. Living Human Treasures Floare Finta, the illuminators of the villages Floare Hotca, Ana Hotcă, Gheorghe Berende, Tămaș Mihali, Ana Mare, Mirela Bud, Mihaela Deac, Maria Finta, Flower Pop and other folk local creators.
Young and old alike, the participants teased, carded and spun the hemp and wool, made yarn ready to be used for clothing, but also engaged in more contemporary crafts such as making traditional jewelry out of small colored beads (i.e. bracelets, necklaces, etc.).
Story telling, jokes, riddles and old wisdom tales added to the charm of the event, followed by a feast with traditional food and the boys taking the girls for a dance.
According to the old customs, these evening gatherings were the only occasions, except for the Sunday dances, when the girls would meet the boys before getting married. It was here that they would show the measure of their skills, talent and hard work, a great apportunity to get noticed by the village boys looking for a wife.
The event was organized by the Negrești-Oaș Town Hall and Local Council, through the Oaș Land Museum, in partnership with the Town House of Culture, the Negrești-Oaș National Center for Tourism Information and Promotion and the town’s educational institutions.