Pig sacrifice festival to preserve traditions in Western Romania

Twelve teams slaughtered one pig each at Sunday morning in Pecica, a city in Western Romania, as part as the 4th edition of the local gastronomic competition called “Pomana Porcului”.
One of the most important winter customs is Romanian villages is the pig sacrifice, usually after 20th December, the day of Saint Ignatius.
To preserve this practice, the town organized the festival first time in 2010 as part of a cross-border project, together with the commune of Domaszék (Hungary).
The event gained popularity year after year: this time attracted eight local teams, one from the neighboring village of Turnu and three representing Hungarian communes.
Early in the morning, following the EU rules, the animals were stunned by a specialist and then slaughtered by the butchers.
One of the local teams followed the tradition and, even if took them longer, used straw to roast a mangalica, a hairy breed of pig.
The Hungarian team from Domaszék additionally offered fried pumpkin, which is believed to get magical powers in this period of the years.
Later, two members of the same team delighted the audience by playing on zither, a traditional instrument.The twelve teams prepared sausage, “caltaboşi” (a specialty made from meat, lungs, liver, rice and spices) and „jumări” (scraps, crisp pieces of rendered animal fat), tasted by a jury.The locals who attended the festival were served with blood fried with onions and fried liver as a breakfast and stew at the end of the contest, while the teams, the organizers and their guests were invited to a dinner with traditional menu and music.