The Transylvanian Carpathian Association – present
EKE was reconstituted in 1991, the ceremonial inaugural assembly took place in Gyergyószárhegy/Lăzarea, Harghita county between May 11–13, 1991.
Since its reorganization, EKE’s greatest event has been the annually organized EKE Camp, which reached its 30th season in 2023. The camp, mobilizing more than a thousand people, is organized by EKE member organizations in various regions of Transylvania. The calendar for the coming year is typically presented during these camps, illustrated with thematic photos.
Performance tours (TT) are also very popular, organized annually on several locations. Currently, EKE’s member organizations organize a total of 15 performance tours per year, both on foot and by bike. These bear the name of famous people: Bánffy Miklós TT, Biharfüredi Regék TT, Dél-Hargita TT, Erőss Zsolt TT, Hargita TT, Jókai Mór TT, Kisbakancs TT, Kós Károly TT, Lehmann Károly TT, Szent János TT, Teleki Samu TT, Winter Performance Tour (on touring skis and on foot), Tour de Túr TT, Udvarhely TT and Vasvári Pál TT.
Maintenance of natural areas, guided tours, painting of tourist signs, lectures, special geography lessons, ski competitions diversify the year-round program of EKE member organizations.
The programme Erőss Zsolt 2500, named after the famous mountaineer, is also very popular, aiming to hike on all 2500+ m high peaks in Romania.
In April 1991, the first issue of Erdélyi Gyopár (Transylvanian Edelweiss) was published. It is EKE’s high-quality, and the only continuously published tourist magazine in the country, published six times a year. In the magazine, we present not only association life, news and favorite tours of EKE member organizations, but also articles on environmental protection, our national parks, our mineral and medicinal waters, journeys and tours in other countries, astronomy, fungi, protected plants and animals. The content is spiced up with writings on local geography, history and also puzzles and book presentations.
In 2012, EKE purchased a property in Várfalva/Moldovenești, Cluj county. The renovated farmhouse, the wooden cottages placed in the yard and the community house built on the site of the old barn make up the EKE Castle, which can now accommodate 50 people. This popular place is the location of summer camps, class trips, EKE Day celebrations and weekend outings.
On September 21, 2013, the Transylvanian Carpathian Association was awarded the Magyar Örökség-díj (Hungarian Heritage Award) for its activity of protecting Transylvania’s cultural heritage.
On EKE’s 125th birthday in 2016, we launched the EKE-bakancs series of books, in which we present the mountains of Transylvania in terms of hiking trails and nature walks. The volumes accompany the hikers on their road, provide them with advice, and make them aware that there are chances of getting lost. The contents of the publications have been compiled in such a way that we can also enrich ourselves with historical and geographical knowledge along the way.
Reviving the old tradition, starting with 2016, the EKE organizes annual balls. These folk and tourist themed balls attract EKE members who like dancing and creating a good atmosphere for the upcoming tours.
In September 30, 2017 the Transylvanian Carpathian Association has become a member of the European Ramblers Association (ERA).
The Gyopárka, the children’s supplement of the Erdélyi Gyopár, was published for the first time in 2017, and since then, hundreds of school children have been reading it and solving its exercises and puzzles.
We also launched the EKE-kisokos book series in 2019, providing important information for our tour guides. In the same year, the Transylvanian Carpathian Association decided to start tour guide courses for our volunteer tour guides and local guides. The courses are helpful for both ramblers and hikers, because the acquired knowledge can be used and utilized at any time.
Currently, EKE is one of the largest civil organizations in Transylvania with 18 member organizations and nearly 1,800 members and the largest tourist association in Romania.
Every weekend, hundreds of EKE members walk in nature, discover the wonderful sights and ethnographic regions of Transylvania, and introduce them to the next generations.
The name of at least one EKE member appears in every Transylvanian tour guide and tourist publication.
EKE has undertaken a partnership in designing and constructing the Transylvanian section of the St. Mary pilgrim trail connecting Mariazell with Csíksomlyó/Șumuleu Ciuc, and participates at various local events, adding color to the program of our famous holidays (village days, religious festivals). It is constantly fighting for the posting of multilingual tourist signs. Together with the Carpathian Association of Budapest (PKE), EKE maintains the trail along the Carpathian range. In order to achieve our common goals, in 2018 EKE also entered into partnership with the Hazajáró Honismereti és Turista Egylet from Hungary.
In our view EKE represents the past, present and future. The three paramount objectives set by the Transylvanian Carpathian Association are: nature walks, knowledge about our own country and environmental protection – and we will act in this spirit as long as there are mountains and Hungarian nature lovers in Transylvania.
EKE – present