1st of March

We have this spring tradition, called “mărţişor”. The word is a diminutive of “marţ”, the Romanian popular name for the month of March.

This custom is said to have Roman origins, when they used to celebrate the New Year on the 1st of March, in the honor of the god Mars, god of war and agricultural rebirth.

Here, people give to one another (mostly men give to the women) a small decoration tied with a string of white and red fabric. This is called Mărțișor (also marț or mărțiguș, according to Wikipedia). Apparently, the string can also be black and white or blue and white. I remember girls asking boys to tie this to their wrists and then tear it off at the end of the month.

Nowadays, it has turned into a moral obligation rather than a nice custom. And to be honest, it’s better to receive flowers tied with red and white string rather than the decorations people sell these days.

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