Tag Archives: martisor

Spring terror

Oh, no. Spring again. When did that happen? Wasn’t Christmas like… yesterday?

The arrival of spring brings, beyond spring asthenia and short skirts on streets, the toughest three weeks of the year for the average Romanian guy. The weeks when She expects things.

First, Feb 14, Valentine’s Day. From all holidays in the West, we had to import Valentine’s Day. It used to mean giving her a card. Fine. But that lasted maybe for the first two years. Now she expects gifts, romantic dining out (so what if ALL restaurants are FULLY BOOKED on the night), flowers, and what not.

Then comes Dragobete, Feb 24. One “side effect” of importing Hallmark Day is that we suddenly discovered that we have a Valentine’s Day of our own, Dragobete. I didn’t know much about it myself, so here is a link with some background. I could Read more of this post

March 1st, a.k.a. “Mărţişor”


mărţişor (sample)

March 1st – the city is full of flowers and mărţişoare, and the merchants’ creativity has no limits. You can find everywhere classic amulets, with little hearts, little flowers, stars and also papyruses with love declarations on them. Everything is breathing “spring”. In the streets dried out by a promising sun, the crowd is looking for the appropriate souvenir for their mother, sister, girl friend, wife or workmate.

The custom of giving mărţişoare on March 1st to girls and women is found in Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. It is a pre-Christian habit, connected with the rituals of the agricultural New Year.

The meaning remained the same in time: it is a symbol of spring, a symbol of resurrection. The mărţişor is a decorative object, tied with a red and white string. It is considered a talisman that brings luck to Read more of this post