A Merry Cemetery, Romania
The Merry Cemetery from Sapanta (“Cimitirul Vesel” in Romanian) located in the Maramures region of Romania, is not boring, gray or depressing like other cemeteries that we know, but instead it has colorful painted tombstones and short funny poems about the life of the person buried there.
The wooden crosses are hand carved with chisels and painted with blue and vivid floral decorations. Each cross has a carved or painted photo of the deceased along with a funny epitaph about a specific moment in their life (the reason of their death, their profession, or their passion in life): farmers on tractors, women spinning yarn, shepherds with sheep on the field or teacher at his desk.
The cemetery dates from 1935 and the oak crosses are the result of a lifetime work and talent of Ioan Stan Patras (sculptor, painter and poet). He managed through his work to chase away the sadness and the darkness that death brings. He removed the drama, he mocked death with humor, focusing on the triumph of life.
This is an example of a funny epitaph (translation from Wikipedia):
Sub aceasta cruce grea Under this heavy cross
Zace biata soacra-mea Lies my poor mother in-law
Trei zile de mai traia Three more days she would have lived
Zaceam eu si cetea ea. I would lie, and she would read (this cross).
Voi care treceti pa aici You, who here are passing by
Incercati sa n-o treziti Not to wake her up please try
Ca acasa daca vine Cause’ if she comes back home
Iarai cu gura pa mine She’ll criticise me more.
Da asa eu m-oi purta But I will surely behave
Ca-napoi n-a inturna So she’ll not return from grave.
Stai aicea draga soacra-mea Stay here, my dear mother in-law!