Last updated: 5 March 2015
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THE 1ST OF MARCH AND 8TH OF MARCH CE LEBRATIONS IN ROMANIA
Each year, in Mars, Romanians celebrate the “Martisor” (on the 1 st of March) and Women’s Day (on the 8 th of March). Even if the latter is celebrated in other countries too, under the name of “International Women’s Day”, the “Martisor” celebration is a tradition specific to Romania and is found nowhere else; this celebration was inherited by Romanians from the Dacians and the Romans.
The popular name of March – “martisor” – has Latin origins (Martius). Hereinafter we shall present to you the history of these celebrations...
“MARTISOR” ( THE 1ST OF MARCH CELEBRATION )
On the 1 st of March, the first day of the ancient Roman calendar, Romans celebrated “Mantroualia”. This was the day when Mars, the god of the forces of nature, spring and agriculture, was celebrated. This celebration represented the victory of spring over winter. Nowadays, on this day, girls and women receive many “martisoare”, the symbol of spring.
Women wear the “martisor” attached to their chest during the whole month and, at the end, according to the traditions of Romanians living in the plain regions, it must be attached to a blooming tree, in the hope for a prosperous year.
The “martisor” consists of two strings – white and red – woven together and to which a small wooden or metallic decoration is attached (a heart, a letter, a flower, a horseshoe or a four leaf clover), as a good luck charm.
Red and white represent the two seasons, still intertwined. Red is winter (probably because the fire is lit in the chimney during this season) and white is spring, whose coming is announced by snowdrops, symbolising nature’s return to life.
Moreover, apart from the “martisor” celebration, there are numerous other legends, impossible for us to tell you about in so little time...
WOMEN'S DAY ( THE 8TH OF MARCH CELEBRATION )
On March 8, 1977, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution proclaiming the need for each member State to celebrate, in accordance with its historical and national traditions, a UN Women’s rights day. At present, Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 everywhere in the world and in some countries it is even considered a legal holiday.
In Romania, Women’s Day is also called Mother’s Day (even if Mother’s Day is a different celebration under the law, being celebrated on the first Sunday of May). Nevertheless; in Romania, as in all the other ex-communist countries, Women’s / Mother’s Days remains an important celebration, honouring women/mothers.
This celebration gives men the opportunity of express their appreciation for their mothers, wives or colleagues; they offer them flowers, whereas children offer their mothers cards containing their most affectionate wishes.