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1 MARTIE,"MARTISOR" February 27, 2010 2:43 AM


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 February 27, 2010 2:44 AM


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Martisor – a beautiful tradition in Moldova and Romania

Every spring on March 1 people in Moldova, along with their neighbors in Romania and elsewhere where Romanians live, celebrate Martisor. They celebrate the rebirth of life after the hard winter. On this day men offer to their beloved women flowers and martisors (the symbol of serenity and happiness).

 The tradition's origins go back to Dacian times (Romanians’ ancestors).  It was previously called "dachia dragobete" - the end of winter.  The pin-charm could only be made during the winter months and worn after March 1st.   In earlier times, the Dacians would hang little coins from a thin, twisted black and white wool rope.  The coin type - gold, silver, or metal - dictated the individuals social status or wealth.  The coin charms were originally used to provide both luck for the future and protection from the environment to the wearer. The ropes stood for the advent of summer, warmth, and regeneration (white), while intertwined with the constant presence of winter, cold, and death (black). The amulets were also believed to enhance fertility, provide beauty and prevent sunburn in women!  Young girls even threw the amulets toward the sun to prevent freckles!  They were worn on the wrist or pinned over the heart.  Many wore the pins until trees began to bloom, hanging the amulets in the tree branches after that point.

In modern times, the pins lost their talisman properties and became symbols of love.  The black ropes were replaced with red, possibly influenced by the Valentine practice of the western world.  The delicate wool ropes are still a "cottage industry" among the country people today. They still comb out the wool, dye the floss, and twist it into thousands of tassels.  In certain areas the amulets are still made with black and white ropes - for warding off evil!

There are a few legends that explain this beautiful tradition. Here are two we selected for you.

One of the old Romanian legend says that once in a fight with the winter witch, that didn't want to give up its place, the beautiful lady Spring cut her finger and few drops of her blood fall on the snow, which melt. Soon on this place grew a snowdrop and in such a way the spring won the winter.

samples of Martisors (pictures/photos)

Another legend tells that there was a time when the Sun used to take the shape of a young man and descend on Earth to dance among folk people. Now a dragon found out about this and followed the Sun on Earth, captured him and confined him in a dungeon in his castle. Suddenly the birds stopped singing and the children could not laugh anymore but no one dared to confront the dragon. One day a brave young man set out to find the dungeon and free the Sun. Many people joined in and gave him strength and courage to challenge the mighty dragon. The journey lasted three seasons: summer, autumn and winter. At the end of the third season the brave young man could finally reach the castle of the dragon where the Sun was imprisoned. The fight lasted several days until the dragon was defeated. Weakened by his wounds the brave young man however managed to set the Sun free to the joy of those who believed in him. Nature was alive again, people got back their smile but the brave young man could not make it through spring. His warm blood was draining from his wounds in the snow. With the snow melting, white flowers, called snowdrops, harbingers of spring, sprouted from the thawing soil. When the last drop of the brave young man's blood fell on the pure white snow he died with pride that his life served a noble purpose. Since then people braid two tassels: one white and one red. Every March 1 men offer this amulet called Martisor to the women they love. The red color symbolizes love for all that is beautiful and also the blood of the brave young man, while white represents purity, good health and the snowdrop, the first flower of spring.

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 February 27, 2010 2:46 AM

Mărţişor (Romanian pronunciation: [mərt͡siˈʃor]) is the traditional celebration of the beginning of the spring (and until 1701 of the New Year[1]) in Romania, Moldova, on the 1st of March. The day's name is the diminutive of March (in Romanian Martie), and thus means something like "little" or "dear March". Nowadays, men offer women a talisman object also called Mărţişor, consisting of a jewel or a small decoration like a flower, an animal or a heart, tied to a red and white string.[2] However, giving a little nickel tied to a red and white string is an old custom and was originally designated for both men and women. It was believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be powerful and healthy for the year to come. The decoration is a symbol of the coming spring. A woman wears it pinned to her blouse on this day and up to two weeks after. Occasionally, women also give such gifts to men. In some parts of Romania such as Moldova or Bukovina 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.
Bulgarians also have a similar but not identical holiday on March 1, called "Martenitsa". If and how these two holidays are related is still a matter of debate between ethnologists.  [ send green star]
 February 27, 2010 2:48 AM

Traditional ´Martisor Fair´ to occur in Bucharest

Romanian Times

The Romanian tradition of "martisor", the white and red threads that women receive as gifts on 1 March as a symbol of spring, will be featured at the Romanian Peasant Museum in Bucharest starting on 25 February.

The Martisor Fair from 25 to 28 February will also feature a play for children on Sunday.

Next to traditional "martisor", which are made of white and red silk threads symbolising the joy of spring and are said to bring good luck, the fair will also feature sales of gastronomic gifts, such as traditional products like "zacusca" or plum jam, Prince Charles' favourite ecological apple juice from Malancrav and honey.

For more information, visit:

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Romanian traditions: Mărţişor


Mărţişor is one of the best Romanian traditions, celebrated in the beginning of the Spring, on March 1st. The tradition’s name is the diminutive of March (in Romanian: Martie). The men offer to the women a talisman object also called Mărţişor, consisting of a jewel or a small decoration like a flower, an animal, a heart, tied to a red and white string. There are multiple symbols in this gift, but all of it have three common sense: revival, sensibility, and the care for the women.

The gift is considered to bring good luck and wealth. Some consider the red as the symbol of the Spring, and the white for Winter, the tradition taking place right between the two seasons. I prefer the version in which the two colors represent the love and the sincerity. This symbols fit better with the early Spring flowers associated with this tradition, especially the snowdrops.


There are archeological proves that the tradition is over 8 thousands years old. It was celebrated by Getas, and it is found in the celebration of Mars as the protector of the fertility and vegetation, as well as in the celebration of the Marsyas Silen god by the Dacians. The Dacian women use coins and little stones tied to red and white wool wires, for wealth and fertility.

Similar traditions can be found in Balkans, especially in Bulgaria (the tradition is called MartenitsaМартеница, Macedonia and Albania.

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nice February 27, 2010 6:28 AM

va ofer martisoare virtuale  si va urez primavara in suflet

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multumim darga GABI February 27, 2010 9:03 AM

si tie, la fel

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