The unusual Cimitirul Vesel cemetery in the Romanian village of Sepynca is a unique example of funeral culture. Wooden tombstones and bas-reliefs paint not only typical pictures of the life of the deceased, but also inform about the reasons for his death in visual forms: hit by a truck, hit a train, knocked down by an illness. On most of the crosses, one can find short poetic messages addressed to another local resident who has gone into the world, and sometimes in a more than frivolous form. Their content (although they are all written in Romanian) is a measure of intra-family relations: relatives often do not shy away from publicly telling about the deceased's addictions to the green snake.
The first multi-colored wooden tombstones appeared in Sepynets in the 1930s, when local woodcarver and artist Stan Jon Patras began to decorate crosses and depict pictures from the lives of the dead, accompanying the drawings with ironic first-person comments. In the first works, mainly dark blue shades were used, but later each color acquired its own symbol: green personified life, yellow - fertility, red - passion, black - death. Now there are about 800 crosses of various shapes on the territory of the cemetery.
The memories of the life of the departed, embodied in wooden figurines and epigraphs, are complemented by original drawings and poetic texts illustrating people buried in the cemetery and episodes of their lives: it is much easier to find humorous quatrains and funny pictures here than classic inscriptions like "Rest in Peace". And if the multi-colored ornament is the same for most crosses and monuments, then the text and bas-reliefs on each grave are diverse and depict pictures of provincial life: lumberjacks with an ax in their hands, school teachers with books, cyclists standing at the stove of grandmothers, and even children playing ball ...
Thanks to the cheerful cemetery, the small village has become a real tourist klondike, here you can meet interested Japanese, ubiquitous Germans, Americans and representatives of other countries. Relatively speaking, now the cemetery "feeds" the village - a bazaar has grown around it, where locals sell their own products, hotels and restaurants have been built
The entrance to this unusual cemetery is paid - 5 Romanian lei, for permission to take pictures you will have to pay the same amount in local currency. But there really is something to see! Among a small provincial village - a square kilometer of colorful and unusual tombstones, quirky humor and a good reason to think about your own life.
The unusual Cimitirul Vesel cemetery is located in the village of Sepinca in northern Romania, one kilometer from the Romanian-Ukrainian border.