Mărțișor in Moldova and Romania Date in the current year: March 1, 2016

Mărțișor in Moldova and Romania Pagan celebration of March 1 as the first day of the spring is common for many countries. For instance, Moldova and Romania celebrate Mărțișor, a folk spring festival.

Mărțișor is closely related to Martenitsa in Bulgaria, also some differences can be found in symbolic decorations and customs.

The name Mărțișor is an old folk diminutive name of March, that is why literally it can be translated as “Little March”. Special mărțișor has to be worn on the holiday. This is a red and white, black and white (which is more common) or blue and white string. This string can have a small decoration, like a coin. Mărțișor is worn by men and women pinned to clothes, close to the heart till the last day of March, then the strings are tied to the branches of fruit trees.

Mărțișor strings are called “year's ropes” and they represent 365 days of the year. This string is considered a link between winter and summer, and black and white colors represent opposition and unity of the contraries: day and night, life and death, warm and cold. Usage of red color instead of black is also common, but in this case the colors are regarded as feminine (red) and male (white).

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Romania, Moldova


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