In the North of Romania, you can find some people who have built a cemetery known as “The Merry Cemetery”. The village is called “Sapanta”. These are the lands of “Maramures” county.
Indeed, there are oak wood crosses ➕ with little stories of the lives of people from this community. They all had different experiences. These are illustrated in their cemetery in a funny way.
There are stories of people who enjoyed life and their work, others who enjoyed drinking or loved nature, others who loved another wife 👯, or more unfortunate ones who had an accident or had dieses.
When you walk through the cemetery and looking at all these stories, makes you think that your story is just another story and it may be a funny one if you want it to be so🎭.
The crosses are blue, of course, a happy color, the tombstones illustrations are also joyfully colored.
This tradition was started in 1935 by the villager Stan Ioan Patras who created the first cross and the tradition continues until our days.
We believe that the roots of this tradition is deeper, until the Dacian people who lived on these lands.
They were celebrating and were happy when someone died and they were sad when someone was born. This is because they believed in life after death, death being just a gate into another world. Dacian people did not regard death as a tragic end, but rather as an opportunity to meet their god, Zamolxes 🐺
If we are looking from this perspective, then this is not a surprise that these people from Maramures are building a happy cemetery.
They only do what their ancestors did a long time ago.
Watch out some funny stories:
Here I rest. Stefan is my name. As long as I lived, I liked to drink. When my wife left me, I drank because I was sad. Then I drank more to make me happy. So, it wasn’t so bad that my wife left me, Because I got to drink with my friends. I drank a lot, and now, I’m still thirsty. So you who come to my resting place, Leave a little wine here. “🍷
And another one:
Underneath this heavy cross
Lies my mother in law poor
Had she lived three days more
I’d be here and she would read
You that are passing by
Try not to wake her up
For she comes back home
She’ll bite my head off
But I’ll act in the way
That she will not return
Stay here my dear