Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mărţişor is the traditional celebration of the beginning of the spring in Romania and Moldova, on 1 March. The day's name is the diminutive of March (in Romanian Martie) and thus means something like "little or dear March". Men offer women a small decorative object also called Mărţişor consisting of a jewel or symbolizing a flower, an animal, etc. tied to a red and white string. This is a symbol of the coming spring, which the woman wears pinned to her blouse in this day and up to two weeks after. It is frequent that women also give such gifts to men.
It is said that the Mărţişor originated from the Ancient Roman culture, where March (Martius) was the month of the God Mars, the war with double role: both protector of agriculture and of war. This duality of symbols is kept in the colours of the Mărţişor: white and red, meaning peace and war (it might also symbolize winter and spring). Althought it is more posible that the tradition was of Bulgarian origin.
For more information see the informative article at http://social.moldova.org/articole/eng/357/
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