The Saxon villages have caught the attention of the public opinion with the arrival of Prince Charles in the region, and even today, the most of the foreign tourists who visit this area are the Germans who, either wish to learn about their origins, or come to visit a region where people speak their language. However, every year, for one week, the crowd gets bigger, due to the thousands of Romanian tourists who come to enjoy the the Saxon traditions and natural landscape. Of course, they are joined by hundreds of Transylvanian Saxons, who return to their homeland, but also by travellers from other countries, as Haferland Week has already became an iconic celebration for this region.
The Haferland Week takes place annually during the second week of August and is the largest festival promoting the Saxon area of Transylvania, in terms of number of participating villages. This year, the festival starts on August the 9th and ends on August the 14th, with over 5000 tourists being expected to visit the area located between Rupea and Sighișoara, once upon a time referred to as Haferland. They will be able to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the traditions of Haferland, as well as the Saxon food, especially since this year’s edition is addressing local gastronomy. Therefore, the participants will be able to taste dozens of dishes prepared by locals, as well as talented chefs. Amongst the local dishes presented at the festival you will discover the gooseberry soup, the chicken soup with homemade noodles, the "Faschiert" meatloaf, the "Hanklech" - the adored Saxon desert or the rhubarb cake.
Photo credits: Tiberiu Arsene
Which are the Saxon villages included in the festival? This year’s programme includes more villages than ever before: Archita, Roadeș, Homorod, Viscri, Bunești, Saschiz, Meșendorf, Rupea, Criț and Cloașterf, each one of them presenting its own charming mix of activities, where tourists can enjoy brunches and concerts in fortified churches, as well as theatre plays, outdoor film viewings or the traditional Saxon Ball. The children are welcome and they will be enjoying their own areas of fun and exploration.
: Calin Stan
: Calin Stan
The festival comes as a result of the constant efforts of several organizations working together to preserve the Saxon heritage through restoration, education and community projects, support for local producers or the protection of the environment. The Michael Schmidt Foundation initiated the Haferland Week in 2013, followed by the Tabaluga Foundation, the Adept Foundation and Mihai Eminescu Trust. The organizers aim to contribute to the sustainable development of the region with an active presence all through the year and a significant number of projects.
They are constantly hosting concerts, sports and gastronomic events, as well as other activities which provide the visitors with an authentic experience in the Saxon villages of Haferland and a more in depth understanding of the valuable heritage of Transylvania.
The Saxon area in Transylvania, located between Rupea and Sighișoara, has been known as the "Oat Country" or Haferland, as its inhabitants used to mainly cultivate oats due of the harsh climate.
More informations about the festival and its programme is available here on: www.haferland.ro