The Székely People


Who are the Székely people?

The actual origins of the Székely (pronounced say-kay) people of Transylvania are not really known. What is known is that they have been living in the Carpathian basin, in their own Székely-land (in Hungarian, Székelyföld) for over a thousand years, longer than anyone else.


 In their ethnicity and culture they are Hungarians, speaking the Hungarian language, and they are the oldest group of Hungarians living in Transylvania. They are believed by some to be descendents of Attila the Hun, who arrived in the region of Transylvania in around the 5th century A.D. The Székely have their own cultural identity, and are fiercely proud of their heritage.

Székely around a tile stove

Székely "Bethlehem" procession

 Transylvania was part of Hungary until the treaty of Trianon in 1920, and although they (like all the ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania) were persecuted by the Romanian government for much of the time since then, they remain strong in their sense of identity as "Hungarians." The ethnic and cultural entity of the Székely people and their Székelyföld are still so important within the Hungarian culture that in Hungarian history they are always given their own separate place. Also, their folk arts and handicrafts have a very distinctive style that is quite easy to recognize once you have seen it. (Jer loves this style, and that's a big reason why we made this section!)

trad. Székely house




Dracula house
(birthplace of Vlad)


traditional village house

Székely man


Székely couple

Székely pilgrims

Click here to check out some pictures of cool Székely carved gates!

Click here to check out the Székely anthem and midis of Székely music.

If you are interested to find out more about the Székely and Transylvania, here is a link to a good website (in English).