Mar 022010

Versiune în română

Today’s photo was intended for yesterday, but since I decided to participate in the Theme Day of the City Daily Photo website, I kept it for today. Mărţisor is a traditional celebration taking place every year on March 1st and marking the arrival of spring. Its name comes from the name of the month of March (martie in Romanian) and literally it means “little” March. On this day the custom is to give small objects as a gift to those close to you, all this objects having one thing in common, a red and white string which is tied to the object. Usually men give this gifts to women and women (only) wear them pinned to their shirts for luck. The wikipedia article linked above cites that in the past this objects were seen as talismans or charms while today they have “became more of a symbol of friendship and love, appreciation and respect”. The article also talks about this custom being very old, with many ethnologists saying that its roots go as far as the Roman Empire or the Thracians. It is a nice custom and a good way for artists to make some money by selling hand made “mărtişoare” – the small object given as a gift bears the same name as the name of the celebration: mărţişor.

  9 Responses to “1st of March is Mărţişor”

  1. Very cute and colorful gift objects! Did you wear one pinned to your shirt?

  2. What a wonderful custom! Very colorful picture as well.

  3. I really like this kind of pictures and I’m always happy to learn of new holidays!

  4. Thank you for posting this. I’ve never heard of the tradition, but I like it a lot!

  5. As noted in the Wiki article, they also observe this celebration in Bulgaria, where, after wearing it, people actually use the Mărțișor red and white thread by tying it on fruit tree branches. The tradition might have started with a pagan belief (as many of the still surviving even religious traditions in the Balkans). It then probably merged in with the Roman habit where wives and daughters used to tie small red and white threads on legionaries’ ankles before they went to war.
    As for the present, it is nice to have the city invaded by street vendors (apart from the year round ones), it brings forward the Oriental part of it 🙂

  6. What a nice idea.

  7. Romanian martenitsas look far better than Bulgarian ones 😉

  8. i don;t know of such tradition, thnx for sharin,
    i have to say that i love to have one of these cute trinkets.

  9. Last week I gave my Romanian language tutor some flowers tied with red and white roses and she was delighted and gave us all a impromptu lecture and slide show on Martisorul . Learning a language is about learning the culture as well. So I’m glad to see it here.

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