ON 1ST OF MARCH EVERYBODY DESERVES A MĂRȚISOR!
Never heard of Mărțișor?
Well, this spring you get the chance to discover one of the oldest and most beautiful Moldavian legends.
Martisor is a Romanian celebration at the beginning of spring, on March the 1st in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians. Similar, though not identical customs can be found in Bulgaria, Albania, Greece and Italy.
Nobody knows when people started to celebrate Martisor. Archeological researches in Romania prove that mascots like martisors existed more than 8 000 years ago. It is considered that this holiday appeared in the times of Roman Empire when the New Year was celebrated on 1st March. The month was called in honor of the god Mars. He was god not only of the war but also of agriculture that leads to nature rebirth. So, red and white colors of martisors may be explained as colors of war and peace.
LEGEND # 1
The legend says that there was a time when the Sun used to take the shape of a man and descend on Earth to dance among people. A dragon found out about this, followed the Sun and captured him. Although people were sad due to the lack of Sun, no one dared to confront the dragon. One day a brave young man set out to find the dungeon. The journey lasted three seasons: summer, autumn and winter, but when he finally reached the dungeon in spring he managed to defeat the dragon and set the Sun free. However, his wounds were too deep and his warm blood was draining in the snow, melting it. When the last drop of the brave young man’s blood fell, some of the white flowers, called snowdrops, harbingers of spring, turned red. That’s why on March 1st people in Moldova offer tiny adornments made of entwined red and white cord, that symbolize new life, hope, purity and love.
LEGEND # 2
There are many different legends which tell about appearing of this beautiful holiday. One of them tells that on the first day of March wonderful Spring came out to the verge of the forest. The Spring looked around and saw in the blackthorn little dainty snowdrop appearing from the snow. A kind Spring wanted to help the snowdrop and started to take away the snow and thorny branches. The Winter saw this and became angry. She brought severe wind and snow to wipe out a little flower. However the Spring covered the flower by her hands. She wounded her finger and hot blood dropped to the faint flower. Thanks to that the snowdrop came to the life. Thus the wonderful Spring won the Winter. Since that time people wear little martisors which symbolize red blood on the white snow. This is one of those beautiful legends which tell about how this holiday appeared. Moldova celebrates Martisor not just by wearing those little mascots but also by the international music festival “Martisor” which starts at 1st March and lasts for 10 days. For the first time the festival was organized in 1967. The festival becomes more and more popular and attracts a great attention from the foreign people. Many international guests and singers come to the festival.
Information from this post comes from: http://www.moldovaholiday.travel/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1194:on-1st-of-march-everybody-deserves-a-martisor-even-your-cover-photo-en&Itemid=317&lang=en