Romania's autumn fairs are a loud, colourful reminder that summer has come to an end - GulfToday

Romania's autumn fairs are a loud, colourful reminder that summer has come to an end

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A little girl points to a toy stand at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania.

Romania's autumn fairs are a loud, colourful reminder that summer has come to an end. And for many families in poorer areas of the country, they are one of the few affordable events of the year.

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Fairs like the one in Titu, northwest of Bucharest, which is on its 187th edition, were the sole public entertainment in 19th-century rural Romania.

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child holds Fete, a small dog, at a target shooting stand at an autumn fair in Titu.

It's a bit more high-tech nowadays, but otherwise little has changed in two centuries.

Thousands flock to fields outside small cities, where entertainment areas are set up from mid-week until the weekend.

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A little girl holds a toy at an autumn fair in Titu.

 

Music and flashing lights strike visitors on arrival at the fairground, which is constantly engulfed in smoke from the food grills and an endless mix of food flavours.

Nowadays, music blasts from large speakers at deafening levels, featuring trendy pop songs from international bands or techno versions of Romanian popular songs.

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A person wearing a rabbit outfit stands by a ride.

Entertainers scream at the top of their lungs to advertise the rides, painted in a kitsch style with images of famous action movie actors like Vin Diesel or performers like Michael Jackson.

While younger people focus on the fairground rides and games, the elderly take advantage of the markets, stocking up on winter supplies of fruits, vegetables and other household items available at lower prices than in Romania's mainstream shops.

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An attendant adjusts his hat while waiting for customers near a shooting stand.

Romania, a nation of 19.4 million, is located on the Black Sea in southeastern Europe. It is one of the poorest members of the 28-nation European Union and has struggled to fight rampant corruption.

Associated Press