“Remélés”2024 – A Traditional Farewell to Winter in Novaj”Remélés”


On February 17, 2024, the village of Novaj revives its cherished tradition of marking the end of carnival season and welcoming spring with the “Remélés (Hope)” procession. This unique event features young men in masks parading through the village streets in a mock wedding procession, playfully smearing soot on the faces of girls they encounter.

Celebrate the Arrival of Spring with Age-Old Customs

Tradition That Unites

Unrestricted Participation: While anyone can join the procession, certain iconic characters like the wire-puller, the grinder, the feathered Jew, and the chimney sweep are essential for their symbolic significance.

Cleansing Soot: The soot used in the ceremony is believed to have purifying properties, warding off evil, curses, and illness, and even predicting a good or better year ahead. The tradition’s name itself likely stems from this belief. Its continuation and current revival owe much to the dedicated efforts of local schools, associations, and individuals committed to preserving this cultural heritage.

In 2016, Novaj’s “Hope” procession was proudly added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage National List, recognizing its importance in fostering community and cultural identity.

Event Schedule:

February 16:

  • 6:00 PM: Carnival program by elementary school students at the cultural center.

February 17:

  • 9:00 AM: Commemoration of board member Tibor Schmetz at the wine house.
  • 11:00 AM: Opening ceremony and welcoming speech, followed by the bride request and “Hope” procession.
  • 3:30 PM: Closing dance and feast for the participants.
  • 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM: Dance night at the cultural center.

Additional Activities:

  • Live brass music leading the procession.
  • Wine cellar tours.
  • Sampling of traditional dishes and wine tasting.
  • Creation of soot handprints.
  • Visit to the village house.
  • Petting zoo.
  • Film screening.

Join the Celebration

The “Hope” festival in Novaj is more than just an event; it’s a living tradition that connects the community to its roots while welcoming visitors to experience the joy and unity of bidding farewell to winter. Whether you’re participating in the procession, enjoying the culinary delights, or simply soaking in the festive atmosphere, this event promises a memorable day for all.

Featured Image Source: remeles.hu

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