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March 1-st is a much loved tradition in Romania.
The men give women a MARTISOR (pronounced: martzishor). The red and white string from which a small decoration is tied, and which is offered to women on the 1st day of March. The Martisor is offered early morning on the first day of March; it used to be worn for 9-12 days, sometimes until the first tree would bloom when it was hung on a flowering branch to bring good luck to its bearer.( After "The Romanian tradition of the Martisor" by Dr. Maria Bocse;English version by Elena Malec.)
This is my bracelet with little martisor added, years after years,gifts from my husband.
The tradition is authentic in Romania, all territories inhabited by Romanians and Aromanians (=Macedonians): Albania, Greece, and Bulgaria.
Some ethnologists consider Mărţişor to have a Roman origin, while others believe it to have a Daco-Thracian origin. In ancient Rome, New Year's Eve was celebrated on March 1 - 'Martius', as the month was called in the honor of the god Mars. Mars was not only the god of war but also an agricultural guardian, who ensured nature's rebirth.
Red is the color of fire, blood, and a symbol of life, associated with the passion of women.
Meanwhile, white is the color of snow, clouds, and the wisdom of men.
In this interpretation, the thread of a Mărțișor represents the union of the feminine and the masculine principles, the vital forces which give birth to the eternal cycle of the nature.
In few days (depend on postal service)same as every year, I am sure I will receive a letter with the string and the little martisor for me and my daughter, from Romania. I always love the happy color of the string: red and breaded with white, to wear for the next 9 days:bring happiness, health an rebirth of the new season:spring.
I spoiled my husband today, and he spoiled me, for this wonderful march first tradition.
This morning I brought a tray with breakfast in bed, and my husband gave me an antique Victorian Cameo jewelery that I liked very much.
I prepared the tray with soft-boiling eggs, slices of toasted bread with cheese,Hungarian Salami, and my mother's apricot preserve,a glass of orange juice, a glass of milk.
I added a white rose.