In the traditional Transylvanian village, boys’ groups, children and masked men were sending their good wishes to the community for the year to come, each group having a distinct role. Children were responsible with the singing of carols, on Christmas Eve, who were making abundance wishes in every house, receiving nuts, apples and bread wreaths in return. The church intervened in this archaic aspect, adding to the carol the custom of walking with the Star (Seaua), the Viflaim (Viflaimul) and the Herods (Irozii). The small folk theatre scenes, presented by masked children and young people, capture different moments of the mystery of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ: the sacred family, the visit of the shepherds, the confrontation between Herod and the three magicians defending baby Jesus.
The word “Viflaim” designates not only the birthplace of Messiah, the town of Bethlehem, but the folk drama played on Christmas Eve and the artifact-props, under the shape of a stylized church, used for this custom.
“Viflaim” with inventory number 2239 was purchased from the village of Căpâlnaș (Arad county). Immitating the shape of a 3-tower building, finished in crosses, the skeleton of this piece is made of wood, later covered in colored paper. The cuboid body of the piece has an open part in front, divided into two compartments, on this “stage” are placed the six dolls made of wood and textile material (embroidered home-made cloth and industrial materials). Windows are cut on the back walls, and a printed image with the theme of the Nativity of the Savior appears posted in one of the compartments.