Mărțișor – the beginning of Spring


By Simona Bejenariu

Today is a great celebration of life, nature and rebirth! The first
day of March has a deep symbolic meaning for Romanians: it is the
first day of spring, when nature is revived after the long winter,
cleansed and powerful. In fact, for the Dacians, the ancestors of
Romanians, the new year began on 1st of March, when they started the
agricultural year.
To celebrate this day, Romanians offer each other ‘martisoare’,
symbolic tokens made of entwined red and white threads, which reflect
life and death, and the constant rebirth. For heath and good luck in
the new year, the martisor must be worn until the first blooming trees

In the popular calendar, 1st of March marks the beginning of the Days
of Dochia, or the Days of the Old Women (Zilele Babelor), which last
for 8 days. In these days, Winter and Summer confront each other, and
it is said that weather is at its most unstable. These days have
foretelling powers: people choose one of the 8 days as their “old
lady” for the year, and the weather on that day is a reflection of
their fortunes in the year to come.
Have a great spring, full of hope and sunshine!

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