Ciceu (Hun. Csíkcsicsó)
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„Csik-Csicso is a pretty Szekler village lying at the inflow of the Szépvíz Stream into the Olt River,famous for its cabbage cultivated in the gardens next to the Olt, in an amount that not only Csicsó is provided with, being the favourite ingredient of the Hungarian cuisine, but Brassó as well, and the cabbage of Csicsó is known everywhere.”

 

It lies 5 kilometres north of the county seat at the inflow of the Szépvíz Stream into the Olt River. The Csicsó place name, in its oldform “Chychow”, results from a Slavic personal name. The Csík-Csicsó adjectival phrase still used today originates in 1675. There was a document belonging to widow Petki Anna and her brother, containing instructions to their serf, Farkas Máté, concernig the running of their manor and farmland in Ciceu (Csicsó). Petki David was probably the descendent of the family, whose “bright castle” was searched in vain by Orbán Balázs since 1706 when the Austrian general Acton ordered its destruction, and remained no trace of it.

In 1850 Ciceu had 1705 inhabitants of which 1551 were Hungarian, 64 Roma, 63 Romanian, 15 German and 12 Armenian mother-tongue speakers. During the 19th century, the population increased, and then decreased a bit at the end of the century, so that in 1910 it rapidly increased to 2225 inhabitants. This growth was induced by the forest industry boom. In 1935 the population of Ciceu has already reached the number of 2355.

Its first school was established in 1737. The population of the village deals with agriculture and animal husbandry. Many of them work in the railway industry or go to work in Miercurea Ciuc (Hun. Csíkszereda).

The people of Upper Ciuc (Felcsík) call this place the village of cabbage. This characteristic is also mentioned by Orbán Balázs. The field between the Olt and the village is the so-called cabbage garden. The former dependence on the crop has changed in time;nowadays cabbage is grown just for personal needs, only a few farmers cultivate it in a greater amount. There was an old custom of several decades related in strong way to the economy of Ciceu, on 16 October, called Saint Gal’s Day of cabbage cutting or cabbage harvest. On that day the custom was to organize feasts in one of the main streets of the village, where carts loaded with cabbage were passing by and various merchants offered their goods, while the best songs could be enjoyed.

From the centre of the village, heading towards the Harghita Mountain, it takes about an hour and a half to reach on foot the remains of the stronghold of Ciceu. According to tradition here had lived the Franciscan monks from Şumuleu Ciuc (Hun. Csíksomlyó) before the construction of their monastery. This stronghold was built onto a tall rock ridge between the Egres and Várpatak Streams, at a location called Vármező (‘stronghold field’), on the eastern edge of the Central Harghita.

The church of the settlement is located in the village centreclose to the school. The church was consecrated in the honour of Saint Anthony of Padua, receiving its final, present appearance in 1839. The building, as well as the parish built next to it, is a monument.

Ciceu is rich not only in historical memories, but also in natural resources. Hence, the soil of the Harghita Mountain of Ciceu contains kaolin, indispensable for porcelain manufacturing. Moreover, it is rich in abundant mineral springs.Its mofette is well-known in faraway lands for its healing properties against rheumatic, vascular, arthritic and asthmatic diseases. In winter the segment of the Harghita Mountain belonging to Ciceu is a paradise of sports activities, visited by many tourists from the country and abroad.

From the year of 1952 the village was under the administration of Siculeni (Hun. Madéfalva); in 2004 it became an independent commune. The Monument of Heroes was inaugurated in the presence of the locals and several visitors on 14 October 2006. Maybe as a peculiarity of the village we can mention the fact that a short part of Tamási Áron’s novel Ábel a rengetegben takes place here; according to the story, the leading character named Szakállas Ábel was born here. 

 
 

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