Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Negreni 2006? Fekete Tó....

I notice from my site stats that people have hit this blog while searching for information about the market weekend at Negreni, in Transylvania (known to Hungarians as the Fekete Tó Vásar). One search was for "Negreni Gypsy Festival" which is cute, but the whole thing is not a festival, and although a lot of Roma - Gypsies - attend, it isn't a Gypsy festival as such. It's a market. A huge one, and one of the last real peasant markets of the type that used to define east European peasant economies before the advent of communism, post-capitalism, and cable TV. The fair takes place on the second Saturday of October. This year, with October beginning on Sunday, it got confusing, but the date seems to be set for this upcoming weekend, the second weekend in October. I wasn't sure myself but I hear - from a Transylvanian friend today, and from Transylvanianan web forum - the market takes place this upcoming weekend - Saturday October 7th and Sunday, the 8th. There is usually a bit of an animal market happening on the Monday after the weekend, and a lot of market folks are there from Thursday and Friday, but the big day is Saturday, especially if you are shopping for collectiblele folk arts, musical instruments, or antiques. I'm not sure I'll be able to make it this year, but if you are going, know that accommodation - apart from camping - is not easy to find in the immediate area, and hotels and pensions in both Oradea and Cluj book up heavily during this weekend. Negreni is located on the train line and main road about half way between Oradea and Cluj. If you are coming on the local train from Oradea it is the village just after Bratca and Bulz. Everybody would be getting off the local trains there, so don't worry about recognizing it, there are about two local trains in the morning (one very early, asnd one early. ) and two in the afternoon (one about 3 pm, one about 5... check times).

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