Mărțișor

Mărțișor is an old tradition celebrated all over Romania every year, on March 1st.
The name Mărțișor is a diminutive of March (Martie in Romanian).

It is believed that the person who wears the red and white string would enjoy a prosperous and healthy year.

MartisorNot long ago, in the countryside,
people used to celebrate the Martisor
by hanging a red and white string at
their the gate, window, cattle's horn
and shed to protect against evil spirits
and to invoke nature's regenerative
power.

In eastern Romania ( Moldova and Bucovina), the red and white string
was complemented with a small -
gold or silver - coin. After wearing the
coin for twelve days, the women would
buy fresh cheese with it
hopping that their skin would be
healthy and beautiful the entire year.

According to archaeological research,
the Mărțișor traces its history more
Martisorthan 8,000 years ago. Some
ethnologists believe that the Mărțișor
celebration has Roman origins,
others support the theory that it is an old Dacian tradition.

In ancient Rome, the New Year's
was celebrated on the 1st of March.
March ('Martius') was named in the
honor of the god Mars. Mars was not
only the god of war but also the god
of agriculture, which contributes
to the rebirth of vegetation.

The Dacians also celebrated the
New Year's on the first day of March.
Ample spring celebrations were
consecrated to this event.

In the old times, Mărțișor were made
of small river pebbles, colored in
white and red, stringed on a thread
and worn around the neck.
MartisorThey were worn, to bring good luck
and good weather, from March 1
until the first trees would bloom.
When the first trees were flowering
the Mărțișor were hanged on tree
branches.

Nowadays, on March 1, Romanians
buy silky red-white threads (șnur)
tied into a bow to which a small
trinket is attached and offer them
to their (female) family members,
friends and colleagues to show
friendship, respect or admiration.

Romanian