March 1 – Martisor in Romania

 Posted on March 1, 2017

March 8 is Women's Day in Romania, but starting today and until then, men are giving the important women in their lives Martisoare, red and white trinkets that can be worn in the month of March.

This is an old tradition that goes back, it's said, to Ancient Roman times. The Martisor was originally made from red and white woolen threads twisted about one another. The red thread symbolizes heat and summer, and the white thread symbolizes cold and winter. Twisted together, of course, this is a symbol of the coming spring.

Nowadays many martisoare have become more elaborate trinkets, with something handcrafted or a bit of jewelry attached to the red-and-white threads. 

Many Romanian women wear the martisoare they receive pinned to their blouses or tied around their wrists all through the month of March. The old tradition is to tie them to the branch of a fruit tree at the end of the month, to bring wealth.

I am happy to say that, in some areas of Romania, men also receive martisoare.

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