Romania's 10 Biggest Cultural Festivals

Festive decorations in Timosoara, Romania.
Festive decorations in Timosoara, Romania.

Romania is a nation endowed with a rich cultural heritage. Today, it is one of the most up-and-coming tourist destinations in Europe. A number of cultural festivals are held in the country and many of these events have gained global attention over the years. We will describe some of Romania’s most celebrated cultural festivals below.

10. George Enescu Festival

The George Enescu Festival is one of the biggest classical music festivals and international competitions of Eastern Europe and the biggest one in Romania. It is held in Bucharest in honor of George Enescu, a globally renowned composer. The festival was first held on September 4, 1958. Famous classical musicians from different parts of the globe arrive in Romania to perform in the concerts held during the festival. The competitions are held in three different categories of composition, violin, and piano.

9. EUROPAfest

This festival is an international music event that is held in Bucharest in May every year. Performances at this festival cover the four diverse music genres - jazz, classical, pop, and blues music. Musicians and bands from more than 45 countries in the world attend this festival. Live concerts, workshops, master-classes, competitions, jam sessions, etc., are held during this festival.

8. Peninsula / Félsziget Festival

This Romanian music festival is held every summer in Transylvania. The performances at this festival are of eclectic nature and feature a variety of musical genres like world music, hip-hop, blues, jazz, pop, rock, metal, and more. A large number of bands from different parts of Romania and abroad take part in this festival. The festival is, however, not just about music. Stand-up comedy shows, sports events, theaters, film projections, graffiti contests, etc., are all part of this huge festival.

7. Golden Stag Festival

This Romanian festival also celebrates music and is mainly organized by Televiziunea Română, the country’s biggest television market. Guest performances by musicians from both Romania and foreign countries are held during this time. An international music competition is also a part of this celebration.

6. Callatis Festival

This music event is the largest of its kind in Romania. The annual Callatis Festival is held in a barge located in the touristic harbor of Mangalia. The massive stage and backstage area of the barge can hold about 200 people. The spectators sit on stairs across the harbor. The festival was first held in 1999 and is currently held every summer between August 8 and 15. Every year, new themed nights are decided for the festival like the folk music night, Europa Top Hit night, etc. The festival ends with a fireworks show on the night of August 15.

5. Electric Castle Festival

This music festival is held every year in the Bánffy Castle near Cluj-Napoca. Music, alternative arts, and technology are blended together to create a unique festival experience at the Electric Castle Festival. Performances at this event cover several genres of music like hip-hop, indie, reggae, electronic, and more.

4. Transilvania International Film Festival

This film festival is held in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania’s historic capital. The Romanian Film Promotion first started this festival in 2002. Since then, it rapidly grew to attract the attention of the world. The festival is held in various locations in the city including both indoors, outdoors, and unconventional areas. The festival aims to promote cinematic art by encouraging new films that are original and innovative in nature.

3. Untold Festival

This is Romania’s largest, annual electronic music festival. It is held in Cluj-Napoca in Central Park. The festival is famous all across the world and attracts musicians from many parts of Europe, North America, and Asia.

2. International Theatre Festival

It is the most important performing arts festival held in Romania. Participants from more than 70 countries arrive in Sibiu during this festival. Filmmakers, critics, and cultural tourism operators from foreign countries arrive at the venue to take part in the events. It is a great opportunity for local performing artists to display their talents in front of foreign experts.

1. Sighișoara Medieval Festival

Every summer since 1992, the Citadel of Sighişoara relives the past during the celebrations of the Sighișoara Medieval Festival. Participants dressed up as medieval era knights, wizards, spirits, monks, and other characters enter the streets of the citadel. More than 30,000 domestic and international tourists attend this festival. Theater, music, dance, craft, and other forms of artistic expressions reminds one of life as it was in medieval era Europe. Medieval songs are sung by minstrels, drummers and dancers create an atmosphere of merriment, and tournaments are organized by the knights to create a lively environment during this festival.


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