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Romanian Spring Traditions

4 years ago


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).
This was the day when Mars, the god of the forces of nature, spring and agriculture, was celebrated. This celebration represented the victory of spring over winter. Nowadays, on this day, girls and women receive many “mărțisoare”, the symbol of spring.
Women wear the “mărțișor” attached to their chest during the whole month and, at the end, according to the traditions of Romanians living in the plain regions, it must be attached to a blooming tree, in the hope for a prosperous year.
The “martisor” consists of two strings – white and red – woven together and to which a small wooden or metallic decoration is attached (a heart, a letter, a flower, a horseshoe or a four leaf clover), as a good luck charm.
Red and white represent the two seasons, still intertwined. Red is winter (probably because the fire is lit in the chimney during this season) and white is spring, whose coming is announced by snowdrops, symbolising nature’s return to life.

According to archaeological research, the Mărțișor traces its history more than 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.

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.


On March 8, 1977, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution proclaiming the need for each member State to celebrate, in accordance with its historical and national traditions, a UN Women’s rights day. At present, Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 everywhere in the world and in some countries it is even considered a legal holiday.
In Romania, Women’s Day is also called Mother’s Day (even if Mother’s Day is a different celebration under the law, being celebrated on the first Sunday of May). Nevertheless; in Romania, as in all the other ex-communist countries, Women’s / Mother’s Days remains an important celebration, honouring women/mothers.
This celebration gives men the opportunity of express their appreciation for their mothers, wives or colleagues; they offer them flowers, whereas children offer their mothers cards containing their most affectionate wishes.


....are known to be witches, who have the power to influence the weather in a specific day in this period of time. People have the custom to choose one day of these 9, and given the weather, they know if their year is going to be prosper or not.