Dear guests of our blog, today it’s 1st of March, a day with multiple meanings in Romania: the „Mărțișor” day and the first calendaristic day of (probably) the most beautiful season. 😀
The word „Mărțișor” is the diminutive of „martie”, the old folk name for March and thus literally means “little March”.
„Mărțișor” is the name for the red and white string with hanging tassel customarily given on the 1st day of March. The string can also be black and white or blue and white. Giving this talisman to people is an old custom, and it is believed that the wearer will be strong and healthy for the year to come. It is also a symbol of the coming spring. Usually, both women and men (especially in Moldova region) wear it pinned to their clothes, close to the heart, until the last day of March, when they tie it to a fruit-tree twig.
In modern times, and especially in urban areas, the Mărțișor lost most its talisman properties and became more a symbol of friendship, love, appreciation and respect. The black threads were replaced by red, but the delicate wool string is still a ‘cottage industry’ among people in the countryside, who comb out the wool, dye the floss and twist it into thousands of tassels. In some areas, the amulets are still made with black and white string, to ward off evil.
Related to Mărțișor and also symbol for spring in Romania is the snowdrop flower. ❤
Alike, though not identical customs can be found in Bulgaria: the „Martenitsa” is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and usually in the form of two dolls, a male and a female. The name of the holiday means “Grandma March” in Bulgarian and the holiday and the wearing of Martenitsi are a Bulgarian tradition related to welcoming the spring, which according to Bulgarian folklore begins in March. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed our traditional way to start the spring season 😀
Share with us your local traditions and customs of welcoming spring 🙂
* If you find it useful, I invite you to like our facebook page www.facebook.com/travelonabudgetRO