Martisor is an old Romanian tradition celebrated on March 1st. The name is a diminutive of March (Martie in Romanian).
The tradition, as the tale goes, started with a red and white string. The person who wore the string, attached to a trinket, would enjoy a healthy and prosperous year. Not to mention the decorative look. I’d wear it for the beauty of it alone. It can be worn in a variety of ways, but most wear it as a brooch.
According to archeological research, Martisor traces its history some 8000 years ago. Long time, isn’t it? Some researchers believe it has Roman origins, others think it’s an old Dacian tradition (Dacians are the ancestors of modern Romanians).
In old times, Martisors were made of river pebbles, painted in red and white. Good luck, good weather, good health and everything good came to those who wore them.
I remember in primary school, friends gifting one another the trinkets, pinning them on our lapels, giggling as we admired their colors and shapes. They come in a number of shapes nowadays, from ladybugs to guitars to anything the designer can think of – one more creative than the next.
I always loved Martisor time, happy in the knowledge good times were ahead since winter was just about gone and spring awaited around the corner.
Over the years, I haven’t kept up with the tradition, but I’m reminded of it every year when the occasional Martisor arrives in the mail.
Tell me your favorite, or least favorite, tradition.
Photo credit: pixabay, reading after midnight