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  Martisoarele se poarta o perioada de timp bine determinata, dupa care se agata in copacii care urmeaza sa infloreasca. Procesul scoaterii martisoarelor a fost legat de paracticile de previziune a vremii. In sud, spre exemplu, oamenii cred ca ar trebui sa-ti dai jos martisorul doar atunci cand vei observa un stol de berze...


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About Martisor


Every year the festive day of March 1 brings back to us renewed hopes, confidence, faith in good fortune and a prosperous life. It is life, spring and the shining sun which win the battle against chilly weather, overcast skies and the nasty days of the Babe (the first 9 days in March).
This triumph of rebirth and regeneration could not be better embodied but in the Martisor ( a trinket, March amulet) offered to loved ones in early spring.
The white and red thread of this amulet (a coin, money cowrie) which parents customarily tied around their children's wrist, young men offered to young women, and young women used to exchange among themselves was believed to bring good luck, good health, "like pure silver, like the river stone, like the seashell".

Martisor Martisor Martisor

Click on a image for more details...

The Martisor is offered early morning on the first day of March; it used to be worn for 9-12 days, sometimes until the first tree would bloom when it was hung on a flowering branch to bring good luck to its bearer.

In Dobrogea, the Martisor was worn until the arrival of the white storks when it was thrown high up in the sky for bringing 
"great and winged fortune " to its bearer.

The Martisor was a present that Romanians sent to each other on the first day of March, traditionally a gold coin suspended on a white-and-red braided thread with a silk tassel. The recipient used to wear it around his neck until he would see a blooming rose and the present was then placed on its branch; in this way Spring was poetically welcomed. The coin symbolized prosperity, the white-and-red thread, a metaphor of a person's face white as a lily and rosy as a rose. 

In the villages of Transilvania, the red-and-white wool yarn Martisor was pinned on gates, windows, sheepfolds, tied around the horns of cattle, around the handle of buckets to protect from the evil eye and malefic spirits; it was believed that the red "color of life" could be an inducer of vitality and regeneration.


In the folk tradition of the Carpathian mountain villages the Martisor was known as Drogobete, that time of the year when young women used to wash their face in "snow water" for getting "clean, pretty and white as the snow". 

In Bihor folk people believed that the rain water collected on March 1, and during the nine days of the Babe would make one handsome and healthy, while in Banat it was customary for young women to gather snow or water from wild berry leaves and wash their face with it spelling the magic words of the Drogobete for love:

"Wild berry flower of March/ make me dear to everyone/ send away from me any harm".

After "The Romanian tradition of the Martisor" by Dr. Maria Bocse.
English version by
Elena Malec

by Isabela

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.
Literally Martisor means little March: a small trinket pinned on the lapel by which winter is parted and spring is welcomed.

by Ana Raluca Iliescu

There once lived a poor man who used to make doll dresses, ribbons, tassels, and sold them at the market.
One day he ran out of fabric and all he could find at hand was two spools of yarn: one red and the other one white. Now he was thinking what could be made out of them; soon he came up with an idea. He tore off two strands from the spools, one red and one white and braided them in a cord. He was very pleased with his work and hung a small picture on his new thread. And he said to himself: How shall I call this ? I know. Martisor because is March and today is the first day of the month. This will be a gift that men offer to women. And he made several models.
Soon the word spread about his invention. And people celebrated March 1 because they wanted to preserve the memory of the day when a poor man created the symbol of spring and regeneration.
So, to the present day people celebrate March 1.

English version by Elena Malec


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