Martisorul (The Little March Amulet)

M?r?i?orul (The Little March Amulet) celebrates the coming of spring. Every year the Romanians knit two little tassels: a white and a red one. On March 1st boys/men offer this amulet to the girls they love…

Every year the primary school teachers from schools teach their pupils how to make „martisoare“ (little March Amulets). C

“M?r?i?or” is the traditional celebration of the beginning of the spring in Romania on 1st March. The day’s name is the diminutive of March and means something like “little” or “dear March”. Nowadays, men offer women a talisman object also called M?r?i?or, consisting of a jewel or a small decoration like a flower, an animal etc., tied to a red and white string. 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 spring.

A woman or a girl 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.

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