Unbelievable: this Romanian cemetery is …merry!
This unusual place breaks our conception of what a cemetery should look like! Instead of gray headstones and sad memorial inscriptions here you will find colorful crosses and funny epitaphs that will make you laugh!
Cimitirul Vesel cemetery is situated in the town of Sapanta, Maramures county, Romania. It appeared in 1930s when local artist Stan Ioan Pastras started to decorate wooden crosses and headstones with vibrant ornaments and bas-reliefs accompanied by ironic first-person comments. Bas-reliefs represented scenes from everyday life of the diсeased or even the moment of their death in a humorous way. Eventually, different colors attained certain symbolic meanings. For example, green started to symbolize life, yellow – fertility, red – passion, and black – death.
After Pastras’ death his apprentices continued this unique tradition. At present, there are about 800 colorful crosses of the same style. Almost all of them have funny memorial inscriptions in verse and pictures some of them being rather frivolous.
People are saying that the merry mood towards death is an ancient Dacian custom who believed that death is only a way towards the world of the supreme god Zamolxes. For the Dacians death was an occasion of joy, not sadness. The most visited tombs are “Crucea cu Soacra” and “Mort de Moarte Fortata” literally meaning “The Mother’s In Law Cross” and “I died because Death forced me”.
People are saying that the merry mood towards death is an ancient Dacian custom who believed that death is only a way towards the world of the supreme god Zamolxes. For the Dacians death was an occasion of joy, not sadness.
The most visited tombs are “Crucea cu Soacra” and “Mort de Moarte Fortata” literally meaning “The Mother’s In Law Cross” and “I died because Death forced me”.
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