In Romania we celebrate the beginning of spring by offering on 1st of March The “Mărțișor” to all female family members or friends, as sign of respect and appreciation.
The “Mărțișor” is a spring token that can be something hand crafted -such as the handmade trinkets – tied with red and white strings or other more expensive jewelry.
♥ The Tradition
The tradition dates back to Roman times or is believed to have a Daco-Thracian origin. Both cultures were celebrating the New Year’s Eve on 1st of March and the first “Mărțișor” that were found were made by black and white wool threads, representing the 365 days of the year .
♥ The Origin
Depending of the origin of the legends about “Mărțișor” , the red and white colors may symbolize: war and peace, fertility and the rebirth of nature, vitality and victory, the union of the feminine and the masculine principles.
♥ The Symbol and Myth
During our days and usually in urban areas, the “Mărțișor” is given as a symbol of friendship, love, appreciation and respect. If you receive one, it is meant to wear it on your jacket or blouse until you see the first tree in bloom . The “Mărțișor” is to be tied on the bloomed tree and you can make a wish , that is supposed to come true.
♥ Where to find them in Bucharest
In Bucharest you can find to buy them from most shops, but the most beautiful ones can be found in markets around the Old Town (Lipscani) , Piața Romana, Mărțisor Markets at the Peasant Musem (Muzeul Taranului ) , The Village museum ( Muzeul Satului) . Each year there are special workshops organized by Museums (Muzeul Taranului and Muzeul Satului) where you can attend workshops with the little ones to make handmade “Martisor” .
♥ Handmade Martisor
Last year we decided to make homemade “Mărțișor” with Erik, as we wanted to be something special to be gifted to grandmothers and other friends. So we chose something super easy to be made from flour dough, that we found fun to make, with minimum “damage” to our home .
The flour dough is made of:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup salt
- 3/4 cup water
- Stir together all the ingredients and then knead into dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 1 cm thick and then cut out shapes – we used little flours, harts and little horses forms. Do not forget to make a little hole in the shapes created – we made it with a pen – so you have place to tie the red and white string.
- After you have the shapes, bake them at 100°C for three hours and then transfer to cool.
- I painted them together with Erik and then I used a nail polish on top in order to look brighter. Last thing needed was to tie the red and white string.
We had really fun making homemade “Mărțișor” and we look forward for this year 1st of March celebration to come.