The month of March is coming. In the folk tradition this month is called Mărţişor coming from the Romans that preserved one of the most beautiful and magical traditions – the giving and wearing Mărţişor.
Mărţişor is the symbol of a new beginning (Romans celebrated the New Year on 1st of March – the beginning of the agrarian year), is the symbol of rebirth – the coming spring.
People give each other Mărţişor on the first of March and wear it until the 31st of March. After then they hang it on the flowers or the trees. It is believed that people who hung their Mărţişor on the tree will have a good year, full of love and success.
Beginning from the period when celebrating Mars, the god of nature’s forces, of spring and agriculture, Mărţişor consisted of a red and a white wire, on which were hanging gold or silver coins. The red color given by fire, blood and sun was awarded to life and represents the woman. While the white color conferred by water clarity, white clouds was specific to the man.
Since ancient times this talisman was bound to hand, then to the neck. Nowadays we wear it to the chest. The tradition of giving Mărţişor was kept on the Romanian area and some countries bordering with Romania. In the Republic of Moldova this beautiful holiday is complemented by a festival that already became traditional – International Music Festival “Mărţişor” (48 edition), and by different mărţişor workshops organized at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History.
Martenitsa – celebration of the arrival of spring in Bulgaria
It is the same symbol as the celebration of Mărţişor in Moldova and Romania. On this day people make red and white coins and give it each other. The white color is the color of masculinity, longevity and strength. While the red color is color of the femininity symbolizes health and fertility.
Martenitsa is attached to the clothes, but also tied to the neck, as it symbolized health. There is a belief that if a wears martenitsa, pre-leaving it for the night in a wild red rose, the beauty of the girl will remain throughout the summer. Martenitsa is hanged to the right if the woman is married and to the left when she is single. It is a tradition for Bulgarians to throw Martenitsa into the river or on the roof of the house.