All people that are at the moment in a Romanian city have seen the main square full of these objects tied with a white and red thread all around – welcome to the month of “martisor”! Generally, girls and women receive these objects (martisor) and they wear them during the whole month of March as a sign of the arrival of spring. In Moldova though, the habit is that the girls should give martisor to the boys. Together with these trinkets, early spring flowers are usually given too, the most representative being the snowdrops.
..but why is the thread white and red? The archaeologists have discovered objects from thousands of years ago that can be considered this same type of “martisor”. They have the shape of small river stones painted in red and white, put on a thread in order to be worn as necklaces. The 2 colors are open to interpretations : the red can mean the vitality of the woman and white the wisdom of the man. Others would say red represents courage, as it has the same color as blood, and white purity, as the snow that goes away. Also, the thread of the trinket represents the inseparable union of the 2 principles.
Why is it good to wear a “martisor” all month? It used to be worn on the hands or at the neck of kids to bring them good luck throughout the year, in order to be healthy and clean as the silver at the arrival of spring . In some areas, the kids were wearing the trinket 12 days as a necklace, after that they would tie it to the branch of a young tree. If during that year the tree was going to be healthy and fine, so was the kid`s life going to be. In other cases , the trinket was tied on the branches of a dovecoat or a hawthorn in the moment of their blooming, so that the kid would be pure as the flowers of these trees.
Today, the martisor is worn all through the month of March and is tied to a tree that makes fruits. It is believed that this will bring wealth to the houses of those people. They also say that if you make a wish while tying the trinket to the tree, your wish will come true. In Transylvania , the trinkets are being tied to doors, windows, the horns of domestic animals, as this will chase the bad spirits away.
Have you chosen your Hag? 😀 Each one of us should have an old hag, whichever we choose to have. In other words, before March begins, you have to choose your favorite hag (a day from 1 to 9) – and that day will define your future. Usually, the Old Hag is chosen by the birthdate. For example, if you were born on the 10th, you calculate like this: 1+0=1 => chosen hag is 1st of March. The thing that is most important is the weather in the chosen day, not which day of the week it is. If the chosen day is beautiful , warm and sunny, then the hag will be happy, otherwise the hag will be upset so choose it wisely 😉