Spring is the beginning of a new cycle of life and in Romania, we welcome this new chapter in our lives with great joy and deep caring. Wanna take part in one of the most special traditions of all time? No more waiting, because ”Mărțișor” is here for you. With this in mind, I invite you to share the feeling of new prosperity with us.

When is ”Mărțișor” brought up to us?

          The 1st of March is the day we celebrate ”Mărțișor”. The custom is that we exchange gifts between us. The most well-known ”Mărțișor” is the four-leaf-clover, the chimney sweeper, the horse shoe or ladybug. Mărțișor” is usually accompanied by a braided cord with red and white thread. Back in the days, people used to attach a penny to the string. In the present time of our lives, ”Mărțișor” can mean anything from chocolate to a bouquet of snowdrops, from jewelry to handmade gifts. 

Around this period of time, in every part of Romania you can easily find booths and stands filled with tiny little things that can be given as ”Mărțișor”.  

How many ways can you wear it?
     ^^  tied around the wrist 
     ^^  around the neck
     ^^  pinned on to your T-shirt
     ^^  any way you like, really
When did this tradition started?
          Long ago, in a very far, far away time from us, the beginning of New Year was celebrated on March 1st. That would make ”Mărțișor” an old tradition that has been going on for over 8000 years. Our ancestors crafted ”Mărțisor” during the winter and wore them once the spring season began. 
     Nowadays, it’s much more easier than that, but it doesn’t mean the feeling is lost.
Why does ”Mărțișor”get so easily in our hearts?
          Well, we take great pride in showing our affection for each other in this time. So, that would be a reason to spark a good feeling among us.
          ”Mărțișor” can be given to anyone, either we speak about loved ones, friends, teachers, colleagues or we just simply refer to that ”special someone” in your life. Therefore, we can say it’s an inclusive tradition.
          Long story short, ”Mărțișor” used to symbolize a token for avoiding evil spirits, for insuring health and good wealth, hapiness and everlasting love.
          Today, ”Mărțișor” is still an adored and valued tradition, all around the country. This shows that old habits might die hard, but a good tradition never does.


Why does ”Mărțișor” look so cute?
          A great legend tells the story of when the Sun came down to Earth, to dance with the villagers. The Sun took the form of a beautiful girl. It so happens that a dragon was watching her dance and so he thought that he can hide her from the rest of the world. But need I remind you that because this girl was on fire, she made an impact on the villagers and such love and care, can never be melted away. While the world suffered, a brave man appeared to save the precious Sun. He was given special powers from the villagers in order to defeat the dragon. His journey took place for three whole seasons: summer, autumn and winter. 
          After the young man fought the beast, the Sun was freed. The world began to shine and nature started to smile at humanity again. In return, humanity still celebrates the man’s gesture by wearing the braided cord with red and white thread. 


Why red and white?
          You may wonder, why these colors though? Well, the red color symbolizes the fire, the Sun, the love, the blood. It is attributed to life and thus, to women. The white color on the other hand, symbolizes the memory of clouds that wonder free in the sky, the picture of clear water, remembers us of the knowledge and wisdom of men.
          Both colors brought together symbolize the unity of two forces and is reminding us of how together, we grow better.

Is Romania the only country that celebrates ”Mărțișor”?

Romania among countries like Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania also celebrate this tradition.

Make ”Mărțișor”proud
          So, now that you know all about our ”Mărțișor” tradition, feel free to join on this great journey with us.
          On 1st of March, we gathered with our Erasmus students and created together some really beautiful “mărțișoare”
          Don’t forget to share the article so more people can take part in this experience. 
          Thanks for reading and always remember that ”Mărțișor” tradition is a way to connect people, it represents a loving gesture from an old time, that still exists in this modern world of ours.



Author: Cristina Raluca Trifan