Longest ‘Plugusor’ – 200 verses, performed in 30 minutes, written on a 12 metre-long paper

‘Plugusorul’ (literal translation ‘the little plough’ – Romanian New Year’s carol, English editor’s note) performed by Bisoca village people in Buzau county is probably the longest in Romania, it has about 200 verses, was written on a 12 metre-long paper and is longer than the one written by Vasile Alecsandri, being collected from the time of ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza.

Besides the picturesque beauty of the village, Bisoca hides countless folk customs and traditions still preserved by the inhabitants and passed on with sanctity from one generation to another. The most beautiful custom of the winter holidays is ‘plugusorul’ and the carolers still cross the hills where the villages are spread, cracking their whips, remembering Cuza Voievod, who gave them land in property.

Bisoca people’s ‘plugusor,’ a historical performance of the place, with masks and local musical instruments, still impresses today all those who come to Tinutul Buzaului.

“Bisoca people’s ‘plugusor’ has been passed on from generation to generation, after Cuza’s reform. Some of the people were given lands in property here, and, in sign of gratitude, Cuza’s ‘plugusor’ has been passed on from generation to generation, has been modified, and now it reached this form I have picked up from several sources. ‘Plugusorul’ has a history of tens of years. According to the tradition, on the morning of 31 December, children go caroling, with the little ‘plugusor’ and then, in the evening, back in the days, when we were young, after 5 in the evening, the older ones would go caroling with the big ‘plugusor,’ even until the next day, on 1 January. The group had a New Year’s drum, drums, bells as big as possible. Whoever had the biggest bell had the biggest group. My biggest bell can carry 6 liters of water, if I lend it, they have to give me 6 liters of plum brandy as fee. That’s the tradition. (…) We still have the traditional whip, accordion, fiddle, and masks. There are 5-6 to 35-40 people in a group. We dress in traditional costumes (…),” head of the carolers’ group from Bisoca village Constantin Moise told AGERPRES.

‘Plugusorul’ from Bisoca is probably the longest in the country, says the man who has been collecting his verses for the last 50 years from the village’s elders. Because it lasts half an hour, carolers are sometimes asked to perform a slightly shorter version.

Considered unique nationwide, ‘plugusorul’ of Bisoca has been recently promoted in an exhibition at the Art Galleries. It has about 200 verses, it is divided into five stanzas and was written by an artist on a roll of paper about 12 metres long.

Nicoleta Ungureanu, the artist who put it on paper, said that she wrote for 9 hours without pause, with acrylic paint and a brush.

Together with communes such as Lopatari, Berca, Manzalesti, Bozioru or Vintila Voda, Bisoca is part of the group of traditional localities included in the Tinutul Buzaului (Buzau Land) UNESCO Geopark.