Spring Traditions - The trinket ("martisor").

In the popular tradition, the month of March is called: martisor, germinar, faurel, and the month of March begin on the 1st with the custom of martisor, the harbinger of spring and that of old women. Romanians celebrate the arrival of spring at the beginning of March, although - from an astronomical point of view - the season in which nature is reborn begins with the spring equinox, which in 2023 takes place on March 20.

The first Romanian trinkets are older than 8,000 years and were made of river stones, painted red and white. Red symbolizes life, hence the woman and white are specific with water and the clouds, hence the man. The trinket string expressed by interweaving the two symbols indicates their unity.

Through the countryside area there's the tradition of the Old Woman Dochia, which is said she twisted two wires, symbolizing winter and summer, then hung a silver penny on them. The string was worn on the hand by everyone for health, wealth and beauty when the New Moon used to rise in March. In our time the original meaning was lost and is worn in the chest, being made of all sorts of materials: wood, plastic, metal, paper, textiles etc. that binds a thin strap red and white thread.

The tradition of the Martisor has a considerable age, and it is said that the person who wears a trinket is protected from evil and that he is doing well all year; The trinket can be worn on the hand, around the neck or on the lapel of the coat, and in some regions of the country, trinkets are also offered to men.

In some areas of the country a string of silver pennies is adorned around the child's neck for good luck. In other areas the girls wear it on the neck and then link it to a blooming tree in late March, and the penny is used to buy cheese to get then a white and beautiful face. In the Bistrita (North Transylvania) area the boys are the ones who get trinkets from girls and those from the Sibiu area receive this gift only in leap years.


Baba (Old Woman) Dochia

Legend says that Baba Dochia was a nasty mother-in-law, who had tormented the daughter-in-law, asking her to do all sorts of things: to wash black wool until it is white, bring water to sieve, to bring strawberries on March, 1st ... and God in the guise of an old man helps the girl to fulfill all the commandments.

Seeing the basket with the strawberries, Dochia believes it's spring and leaves for the mountains, with the flocks of sheep. Clad with 9 coats, Baba Dochia shakes off her fur coats one by one until she remains dressed only in a shirt. But on the 10th day, reached the top of the mountain, God gives a bitter frost, freezing cold and petrifying Baba and sheep.

Tradition of the old women says you have to choose a day between March, 1st and 9th. And as the day the weather will be chosen, so will be your life that year. If it's sunny, you'll be happy all year, if it's cloudy, then you have sorrows, and if the wind blows, you might argue. If it rains or snows is a sign of wealth.

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