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Martisor

Celebration of Spring in Moldova

Moldovans have a beautiful ancient tradition on the first day of March : Martisor (The Amulet). Its name is a diminutive from the name of Martie - the Romanian word for March. There is a similarity between Martie and the ancient Roman God "Mars" or "Marte" in Latin language. In ancient Rome this God was a symbol of revival, green fields, flocks and love. They used to celebrate their God on the first day of spring.

From the ancient time people were celebrated the coming of spring with long time forgotten rituals. They used small pebbles painted in white and red arranged alternatively on a string. It might be curious why they had chosen these two colors : red and white. In those times, many magical rituals involved human or animal sacrifices for determining their pagan Gods to listen to their prayers. So blood was associated with life, fertility and worship. On the other hand, the snow, the ice and the clouds were white. In a single expression the meaning of two colors might be : "let's forget about winter and pray our Gods to bring us fertility".

At the beginning of 19th century the beautiful Amulet was found in all Romanian regions. Especially children and women wore around their necks or on their left hands two woolen yarns (one red, one white) knitted together and a small silver or golden coin hung on them. The belief was that those who wore that Amulet were protected and would have good luck in the next year. It was written in books that young Moldavian girls wore Martisor from March 1st till March 12th. After two weeks, they used to tie their hair with that special red-white yarn waiting to see the first spring birds coming to their village. Only after that event, the young girls took out the Amulet and hang it to the first tree they saw in blossom.

Nowadays "Martisor" is present in all Romanian regions but you can find a similar tradition in Macedonia and Albania too. In Romania this Amulet is a symbol of coming spring and joy. Exchanging them is a gesture of love, friendship, respect and appreciation. You can buy silky red-white threads (tied into a bow) and small plastic objects : flowers, horse shoes, leaves, bumblebees, animals, birds, tiny suns or stars, red hearts, and many others. People wear in the left side on their chests these amulets during nine days, starting from March 1st, of course.

We can post a "Martisor" to any country outside Moldova or deliver a "Martisor" with a card to your friend or beloved one here in Moldova.

"Sir/madam, On your site you write that Nowadays "Martisor" is present in all Romanian regions but you can find a similar tradition in Macedonia and Albania too. I would like to mention that there is not “Macedonian nation” and if you have other opinion I appreciate to refer to me some proves from history or from U.N. to mention that nation. It is big fault and be mistaken to inform your readers (as I am) with untruth reference like that. Macedonia belongs to Greece, like the Acropolis does.
Konstantinos Siropoulos "

Email @ marisha.v.waters@gmail.com
with a copy to
trandafir_dela_moldova@yahoo.co.uk
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