Bistriţa hosts various enjoyable festivals but there are more interesting ones in the villages of the Bârgău valley to the east. In town, the International Folklore Festival is held in the second week of August, the Brass Band Festival in September and Bistriţa Folk in mid-November. Prundu Bârgăului, 22km from Bistriţa, is host to the Festival of Regele Brazilor (King of the Fir Trees), traditionally in late June but now in mid-August. This is an opportunity to hear traditional songs and the part-improvised lamentations (bochet) telling of a deceased person’s life and deeds. Also here are the Raftsmen’s Festival on the last weekend of March, when unmarried men crown their usual attire of sheepskin jackets with a small hat buried beneath a plume of peacock feathers, and the Toamnă Bârgăuană (Bârgău Autumn) in early November.