Winter traditions: “Vindecarea” caprei (Goat healing)

The goat healing symbolises the arrival of the New Year. Other character that we can often see in the flocks of the Bucovina villages is the goat which is characterised by an excessive vitality, by which the goat succeeds in attract the attention of the audience.  Like the goat, from the dancing and costumes point of view, is the stag. The stag or goat mask consists of head, with chattering maxillary and a body made of a carpet or a blanket. A stag with horns or a goat trophy can be found on the upper part of he mask. Between the horns there are particular decorative compositions, made of beads, mirrors, tinsel, flowers etc. The goat (or the stag) is accompanied by characters symbolising shepherds, old men or old women, and also dancers dressed in popular costumes. During the goat dance, there is a moment in which the animal gets sick and falls down. The shepherd panics and has an extreme dialogue with the goat, dialogue which, in certain parts is actually a disenchantment. As long as the goat is in agony, the members of the suite are worried, but once the animal heals, the joy and happiness reappear. This moment of the goat dance signifies the “death” of the year which ends and the birth of the year that comes. Source: