Martisor - the celebration of spring

Martisor - the celebration of spring

Martisor is a Romanian ancient tradition, it’s been dated for 8000 years, which celebrates the beginning of the spring on 1 March. Is the celebration of joy, freshness, the victory of Good against Bad. The day's name is the diminutive of March (in Romanian Martie), and sounds something like "little March".

In the old times, the Martisor consisted in a cord made from two threads, one red and one white, interweaved like AND chain. The red symbolizes the Love and the white symbolizes the Divinity. Some researchers think that this celebration suggests the returning to life after the Biblical Flod.

In our days , men offer women a talisman object also called Martisor, consisting in a jewel or a small decoration like a flower, an animal,a heart, tied to a red and white cord.

This holiday is associated with the most suggestive flower of the spring –snow drop. However, giving the “ Martisor” tied to a red and white cord is an old custom and was originally designated for both men and women.

It is the superstition that the person who wears the red and white string will be powerful and healthy for the year to come. This celebration marks as well the beginning of the works in agriculture.

The woman wears it pinned to her blouse for two days starting with this day. Sometimes the Martisor, is also given by the women to men, as gifts.
In some parts of Romania such as Moldova or Bucovina the symbol of spring was a gold or silver medal which was worn around the neck. After wearing the coin for twelve days, they bought sweet cheese with the medal, because it was believed that their faces would remain beautiful and white the entire year.

Similar customs can be fund in Balkans area, in Bulgaria were the celebration is called Martenita , Macedonia and Albania.

Romanian Traditions and superstitions

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