Tree of Life Calendar 2019
Cultural events taking place under the umbrella of the country tourism brand

MILEȘTII MICI WINE RUN

a unique race through the world's biggest wine cellars

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Calling passionate runners in search of adventure! Calling passionate runners in search of adventure! The Mileștii Mici depths of up to 100 meters in the labyrinthine cellars of Moldova’s most famous winery. Join other international athletes on January 20th 2019, and run past the largest wine collection in the world (verified by Guinness World Records) as you discover the hidden depths of Moldova’s incredible wine culture!

UNDERLAND WINE & MUSIC FEST

wine and street culture festival

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Mesmerizing wine, thousands of barrels, cool stone labyrinths and decades of history: what else could Cricova cellars be hiding? Underland Wine & Music Fest is the first and only underground wine and street music festival in the world, unfolding in the legendary Cricova underground city and gathering over 100 national and international artists. Here, fairy tales connect with reality, miracles meet at every step, and wine flows without end to the sound of music. Street artists, jugglers, magicians, live statues, delicious food, and plenty of red, white, and sparkling wines await you in the streets and squares of Underland city!

MĂRȚIȘOR

international cultural festival

  • When: 1 - 10 March
  • Where: Chișinău
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Do you know the legend of Mărţişor? Mărţişor is the traditional red and white symbol of spring. Pin it on your shirt or sweater from March 1st until March 31st, then hang it on a tree while you make a wish. Mărţişor Festival is for anyone eager to discover Moldova’s rich culture and talented performers. Throughout March, music and dance ensembles from Moldova and abroad transform the Nicolae Sulac palace stage into a true parade of traditions, joyfully greeting the coming of spring. For over 50 years, Mărţişor Festival has paid homage to this romantic tradition through music and dance, with help of local and foreign enthusiasts.

WINE VERNISSAGE

wine tasting in a gala atmosphere

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Do you love good wine? Are you ready to discover a new favorite? Wine Vernissage is an elegant and distinguished soiree, which takes place twice a year in Chișinău. Gourmets and wine lovers alike are invited to taste and discover local wines and their makers. At the same time, the visitor can also explore the culture of local wines, and to get to know the producers behind them. Attendees can also explore the culture of Moldova’s local wines and regional varieties, and put the award-winning creations of its winemakers into perspective. Moldovan winemakers and sommeliers are the main heroes of the evening, and Vernissage visitors sail along with glasses of wine in hand, tasting all of Bachus’ novelties.

MAI VIN

first picnic of spring at Asconi winery

  • When: 1 May
  • Where: Puhoi village, Ialoveni
  • Facebook
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Moldovan dances

Let your hair down and welcome in the spring! Wine, barbeque, dance - these words are music to the ears of every Moldovan. And where there's music, there is dance! On May Day, everybody drinks, eats and dances together – the Hora, Sirba and other Moldovan dances – and where better to do it than at one of Moldova’s most famous wineries?

ORHEIUL VECHI MOUNTAIN BIKE MARATHON

cycling marathon in a unique landscape

  • When: 11 May
  • Where: Ivancea village, Orhei
  • Facebook
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The Orheiul Vechi XCM Mountain Bike Marathon is where sports, tourism and adventure come together to cycle through Moldova’s most picturesque region, Orheiul Vechi. There are so many beautiful places across Moldova to be discovered, promoted and valued. We're thrilled that the organizers have chosen Orheiul Vechi to host this Mountain Bike marathon, simultaneously showcasing Moldova’s touristic treasures and its opportunities for sports and adventure.

URBAN VIBES

regional wine and food festival

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Chisinau is a vibrant city, full of creative and beautiful people. Come and discover them! If you are in to graffiti, hip-hop and breakdance, DJ shows, streetball, parkour, or even jiu-jitsu, then the Urban Vibes Festival in Chișinău is for you. In addition to competitions and performances from experienced artists, there are many workshops for children to get their hands dirty too. Hundreds of creatives from outside Moldova travel to the festival to discover new ideas and exchange experiences. Urban Vibes is an annual tradition and has already become a fixture for young people in the street culture world.

MAI DULCE

festival of sweet traditions

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Do you have a sweet tooth? Let us tempt you with croissants with rose-petal jam, and hand-coiled pastries with poppy seeds or pumpkin! ‘MAI DULCE’ Festival is a Chișinău culinary tradition, where housewives pay tribute to traditional dessert recipes and children celebrate the beginning of the summer holiday. Crowds are drawn by the event’s culinary workshops, best-dessert competitions and entertainments for adults and children, and the atmosphere of the festival is so charming that you cannot help but get infected by its sweetness too. Everybody wears colorful clothes, and parents return to their childhood for a day, having fun with their children and gorging themselves on sweets. Whatever your favorite, there is something at Mai Dulce for you, from traditional Moldovan recipes to international desserts.

SPARKLING PARTY

a party dedicated to sparkling wine

  • When: May
  • Where: Cricova
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It’s not just the stars that sparkle at the summer’s most elegant and refined event. Summer is the time to relax, look at the stars, and capture them in your glass with a perfect sparkling wine. Sparkling Night is Moldova’s most dazzling summer event, which also hosts the country’s most grandiose and extensive sparkling wine tasting. If you have ever dreamed of spending a hot summer night with a cool refreshing glass of sparkling wine in the elegant ambience of a jazz music concert, you must not miss this event.

ROSÉ DAY AT CASTEL MIMI

national rose wine day

  • When: 8 June
  • Where: Bulboaca village, Anenii Noi
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National Rosé Wine Day at Castel Mimi: Celebrate rosé elwine together. An elegant and beautiful picnic at Castel Mimi is the perfect backdrop for your Instagram pics, but don’t forget to live in the moment too. Here, Rosé Wine is the king of the party, parents can take a deep breath of air, and children will enjoy different activities just for them. Come to admire an unrivalled water show, and music and lights that will color the castle in pink.

DUMINICA MARE

festival of Moldovan traditions

  • When: 16 June
  • Where: Domulgeni village, Florești
  • Facebook
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Discover the authentic traditions of Duminica Mare (Pentecost Sunday). On Duminica Mare, widely considered the most important Sunday of the year, villagers decorate their households with herbs and leaves, and floors are covered with thick grass, wormwood and other field plants. The festival welcomes everyone keen to discover or rediscover the ethno-folkloric traditions and craftsmanship of our people, while gourmet-lovers can taste dishes prepared by local housewives, according to the region's ancient recipes.

DescOPERĂ

open air classical music festival

  • When: 14-16 June
  • Where: Butuceni village, Orhei
  • Website
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When was the last time an event truly took your breath away? The DescOpera Festival is a unique musical event of rare beauty, organized at the foot of the Orheiul Vechi Reserve limestone cliffs, which create an incredible natural amphitheater. The event takes Opera from its traditional setting and transports it into the heart of nature. Seize this unique opportunity to simultaneously enjoy beautiful weather, fresh air, amazing views and classical music, performed live on an improvised natural stage! The festival showcases well-known classical masterpieces and spans 2-3 days, during which visitors can enjoy performances featuring artists from the Moldovan National Opera, led by Austrian conductor Friedrich Pfeiffer.

FOLK COSTUME DAY

ethno-folkloric festival

  • When: 30 June
  • Where: Chișinău
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Wear Your IA With Pride! On the last Sunday of June, Moldovans celebrate the Day of Folk Costume, rediscovering the authentic Romanian folk costumes and ethnicities in the country. The festival has three main components: heritage costumes, guest costumes, and modern costumes, inspired by the traditional clothing of centuries gone by. The IA – a beautiful shirt at the heart of Romanian folk costume – is also widely presented during the celebration.

IA MANIA

festival of arts born out of traditions

  • When: 6 July
  • Where: Holercani village, Criuleni
  • Website
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How can you get to know and understand Moldovans better, and explore their cultural traditions? Go to IA Mania, a festival founded in 2013, which promotes the traditional Moldovan hand-embroidered blouse, and supports the craftsmen who carefully preserve this tradition. The event is organized on the banks of the Nistru River and gathers dozens of artisans with hand-made objects, chefs with traditional recipes, music and dancing, workshops, animation and many other activities, all inside the Holercani village stadium. The festival hosts the "Mandria" (Pride) competition for young designers, which presents brand new fashion collections inspired by Moldovan traditions. The festival also organizes the mural competition "Cai verzi pe pe pereti", and the "Podul de flori" conference on folklore inspired themes.

FRUMOS COVOR BASARABEAN

festival of traditional carpets

  • When: 7 July
  • Where: Clișova Nouă village, Orhei
  • Website
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What is the most precious dowry item for a Moldovan bride? A hand-woven carpet! The village of Clişova Nouă, Orhei, is considered by some to be a small capital of Bassarabian rugs. Come to the Carpet Museum, where craftsmen have preserved the carpet-making tradition and can show you how carpets are woven. If you’re in search of a dowry, you can admire the authentic carpets in the exhibition, and even buy one to take home. You’ll need a minimum budget of 500 Euros, but rest assured, your purchase will never go out of fashion. The art of carpet weaving using traditional equipment (razboi) is in danger of disappearing in Moldova, but the Bassarabean Carpet Festival is keeping it alive for locals and visitors alike.

LA VATRA OLARULUI VASILII GONCIARI

international pottery fair

  • When: 11 August
  • Where: Hoginești village, Călărași
  • Facebook
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Discover Moldova’s stunning crafts and traditions. Pottery is one of the ancient crafts at the center of Moldova's cultural traditions, and Hogineşti village is home to one of Moldova’s most valued potters. Vasilii Gonceari inherited the craft from his forefathers. After a period spent abroad, he returned home to continue the family business and establish the "Vatra Olarului" International Pot Fair, where visitors can buy pots, souvenirs and household objects. Dozens of craftsmen gather in the courtyard of Mr Gonceari’s house, each showing their beautiful pieces with obvious pride in their work. Kids can have a go at the potter's craft in hands-on workshops, and traditional gastronomy, folklore and dancing all come together in the unparalleled atmosphere of the fair.

CUCUTENI

ancient culture and Cucuteni art festival

  • When: August
  • Where: Ivancea village, Orhei
  • Facebook
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Witness of the birth of true art and discover the ancient civilization culture of Cucuteni. In the village of Ivancea, just 30 minutes away from Chișinău, dozens of international artists come together to take part in a creative camp where the only muse is pottery and the unique Cucuteni civilization. Come see how the clay takes shape and beautiful forms arise. From seasonal Moldovan cuisine to activities for children, handicrafts, live music and more, the Cucuteni atmosphere is perfect for preserving beautiful memories of Moldova.

GUSTAR

open-air festival of ethno-balkan music

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If you like outdoor adventures with the soundtrack of great music, set up a tent and have fun till morning! Gustar Festival is a unique opportunity to spend a special weekend with family and friends in the embrace of an incredible natural landscape, while you listen (and dance!) to the most popular artists of the moment. Camp fires, camping, traditional food, craft fairs and kids’ activities – at Gustar Festival we have it all. Don’t miss out: if this sounds in the slightest bit like the best time of your life, come and join us in Orhei!

DOR CĂLĂTOR

open air music festival

  • When: 22-23 August
  • Where: TBD
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A music festival with heart and soul. In August, the heart is more at home than ever, as we enjoy being closer to family and the peace of mind that the summer vacation brings. Music is everywhere, but especially in nature, where the echo of sincere emotions is best heard, and the beauty we see leaves us speechless. In August, you can find our land embraced by soulful people and legends at the open air DOR CĂLĂTOR music festival, with acts like Vali Boghean Band and guests.

PURCARI WINE RUN

unique trail run through vineyards

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Combine trail running with wine in the grounds of Chateau Purcari winery. Purcari Wine Run is a unique event, combining a 10km trail run with the beautiful vineyards of Chateau Purcari. Discover beautiful landscapes and multiple elevations, unpredictable paths, and a lot of grape vines! Every 2 km, runners can spend a few moments at a pit stop named after some of the most famous wine varieties: Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Rose. Eat some fruit, grab some water, and of course taste some incredible wine before rejoining the race!

WINEMAKERS BATTLE

an authentic competition across each stage of wine production

  • When: 15 August – 15 October
  • Where: Purcari, Ștefan Vodă
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You can’t visit Moldova without a tour of Purcari Winery. Château Purcari is where tradition meets fairytale landscapes, and you can discover that wine is indeed poetry. More than 260 hectares of vineyard surround this wonderful place, providing the opportunity to learn, feel and study the secrets of how grapes are picked, and processed into wine. Winemakers Battle is an adventure that will introduce you to each step of the wine production process, from the moment a grape is harvested to fixing the label to the bottle.

MUST FEST

young wine festival

  • When: 14 September
  • Where: Cricova
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For late autumn visitors, our grape must is a must to taste. MUST fest celebrates the season of glory of the vine, and that unique product from the grape harvest - must. Come and take a tour through Cricova’s famous underground cellars, a paradise of red, white, dry and sparkling wines, where almost every variety has its own street. Then, stroll down the underground pedestrian street - Legenda Plaiului – accompanied by wine, live music, artists and film screenings. Wine School is anothergreat attraction at the festival, welcoming guests with specially chosen wines and lessons about the art of serving from the most prominent specialists.

“MARIA BIEȘU” INTERNATIONAL OPERA AND BALLET FESTIVAL

  • When: 9-15 September
  • Where: Chișinău
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Is the opera your achilles heel? Or is your secret passion really the ballet? Each edition of the "Maria Biesu" International Opera and Ballet Festival presents incredible artists and performances that keep the audience entranced and generate spontaneous, lengthy applause. Well-known performers from Moldova and abroad honor this beautiful festival with their presence, enriching the cultural life of the country.

BOSTANIADA

ethno-gastronomic festival

  • When: 21-22 September
  • Where: Bălăbănești village, Criuleni
  • Facebook
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Immerse your senses in the season of harvest with delicious wine and hearty home-made food. Bostaniada invites you to the feast of autumn fruits and the splendor of this season, through a special exhibition of the biggest and strangest pumpkins, nature- inspired crafts, live music, a costume parade, contests, games, pumpkin sculptures, and of course, wine tasting and homemade dishes. The festival will culminate with a celebratory Village Bonfire. Dress Code – ‘orange, green, ruddy’.

EUROPEAN HERITAGE DAYS AT CASTEL MIMI

cultural festival

  • When: 24-28 September
  • Where: Bulboaca village, Anenii Noi
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Admire the beauty of the golden autumn and the richness of our cultural heritage! Come and celebrate Moldova’s rich past at the Castle Mimi winery in Bulboaca village, one of the 64 sites in Moldova organizing events for European Heritage Days. Discover true Moldovan traditions through an exhibition of authentic carpets, traditional costumes, ritual bread-baking and many other activities.

CHISINAU INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

international marathon

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Are you ready to test your endurance in a brand-new setting? Then the International Marathon Chisinau is for you. Gathering over 17,000 people each year from 50 countries around the world, the race tests their stamina over distances of 5, 10, 21 and 42 km. At the finish line, each participant is awarded with a medal, and the winners get valuable prizes. Lace up those running shoes, it’s time to race for the finish in the biggest sporting event of the year!

ETNO JAZZ

international music festival

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“If Music is a Place, then Jazz is the City”. For anyone who agrees, the Etno Jazz Festival is not to be missed. Moldova’s famous "Trigon" trio, the organizers and hosts of the project, surprises the audience each year with jazz bands from all around the world. A week of live concerts with both young and seasoned jazz artists will cure you of your daily routine and charge your batteries for a long time to come.

NATIONAL WINE DAY

the greatest celebration of wine traditions

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Visit National Wine Day and fall in love with Moldova forever! National Wine Day is the event that will give you 100 wonderful surprises, and then a couple more. Over 60 wine producers, from large, famous companies to skilled boutique wineries are waiting for you in Chișinău’s Great National Assembly Square. Take two days to taste and appreciate their wines, or continue the feast at the wineries celebrating across the country, each with an attractive program and offering many prizes. The beginning of October is the time to savor Moldova to the fullest, when the national pride index grows with every breath. Why? Because as everybody knows, the best wine in the world is in Moldova!

COVORUL DORULUI

national carpet fair

  • When: 21 December
  • Where: Chișinău
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Discover the hidden meanings woven into Moldovan carpets. Covorul Dorului fair celebrates the authentic Moldovan carpet, recognized by UNESCO World Heritage. The event offers the opportunity to discover the motifs and symbols which are integral to the beauty and history of these carpets, as well as the traditions and customs of the Moldovan people.

WINE VERNISSAGE

wine tasting in a gala atmosphere

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Do you love good wine? Are you ready to discover a new favorite? Wine Vernissage is an elegant and distinguished soiree, which takes place twice a year in Chișinău. Gourmets and wine lovers alike are invited to taste and discover local wines, and to get to know the producers behind them. Attendees can also explore the culture of Moldova’s local wines and regional varieties, and put the award- winning creations of its winemakers into perspective. Moldovan winemakers and sommeliers are the main heroes of the evening, and Vernissage visitors sail along with glasses of wine in hand, tasting all of Bachus’ novelties.