Ilva Mică village is named first in an official document in the year 1552. The legend says that the hearth of the village was first situated by the Ili creek, then moved to the confluence of the Ilvei and Someșul rivers, in a place named then „Poiana” – now Văleni.
There is a legend about Ilva Mică village foundation. Legend says that two brothers, one of which named Ili Mic, lived at the border of Iad village (today Livezile). Because of tatar invasions they had to refugee with their families and cattle over the Strâmba Hill and settled in a hidden valley which is called untill today “Valea Ili”, and the water creek is called „Părăul Ili“. This valley is at the border of Ilva Mică, the creek having its spring in the Bazarnicului Hill. This family that formed the heart of the first comunity (around 20 families) established the village near Ili creek in a place named „Ciungi“. The unfriendly structure of the terrain made Ili Mic and his people leave this place and they established near the place where Ilva river meets Someș river, in a place called „Poiana“, the only place suitable for a settlement, the rest of the land being covered by forests.
Tradition is being kept on these fairy lands. ”Împreunatul oilor“ (sheep breeding) is an event that takes place in the first half of May, in the borders of the village. A day earlier the owners gather to the decided place for breeding and build the stable and the hut, and also to milk the sheeps in order to control and verify the accuracy of the measurement for the next day. The owners sit on rocks in front of the opening in the stable, with the buckets facing the open side down in order for the water to drain, after which at a signal they start milking. When they finish they take the bucket to the hut to handle it to the shepherd which will measure the milk in „budacă” with „carâmbul”.
Most of the old houses, built of wood, have a lobby in front called „târnaţ“, garnished with engraved wood in popular models. House walls are decorated with clay plates, glass icons and flowery towels. The oven is placed between 2 rooms and is that big that takes almost a quarter of one room. The design on the towels and carpets (ţoluri) is made of floral elements, fauna elements, made with live colors and modeled very expressive. The wool is the most used fabric in carpet weaving, but towels are weaved from cotton.
Cotton and hemp are used to make national traditional outfits. As it follows, men wear white blaize pants („cioareci“) and long cotton shirt, over which the belt closes.
On the head the men wear wide-brimmed hats which are used all over Someşului Valley. During work days, the regular used shoe was „opinca”, but in festive days they wear boots.
During winter they wear waistcoat made of sheep leather, which protects of cold and strong winds. Older women wear on their heads a black kerchief (năfrămi) and black vest, and as shoes they use „opinci” and boots (ciobote ). Girls wear vests made in Brașov made of black velvet. The sleeve of the shirt (piept), and „poalele“ are sewed with flowers (pene), which contrast with the flowers on „năfrămi“. The youngs wear hats on their heads on which they put „gerdănele“ made of small beads, and there are attached one or two peacock feathers (păuniţa).
Weadding is one of the most loved customs by the villagers but unfortunatelly it started to lose some traditional elements. Weadding invitations are made by „cemători“. A few boys on horses decorated with flowers and „ștergare“, go a day earlier to villagers houses calling them to weading.
On the weadding day one of the lads wears a flag decorated with ears of wheat, scarfs and chimes which are agitated over the newly-wed.
The party ends the next morning and it contains among others the following: mid-night „făgădaşul“, money gathering, chicken song, godfather/godmother’s washing and the dance of the bride.