Martisor is a Romanian celebration at the beginning of the spring, on the 1st of March.  The word “Martisor” is the diminutive of Mart, the old folk name of March(martie) and means "little March". Some ethnologists believe that Martisor has a Roman origin, while others say it has a Daco-Thracian origin. According to archaeological research, the Mărțișor traces in history have been more than 8,000 years. In Ancient Rome, New Year's Eve was celebrated on March 1- "Martius"- as the month was called in honor of the Mars deity. Mars was the deity of the war and an agricultural guardian. The red and white colors of Martisor may be explained as colors of war and peace. Nowadays, on March 1, Romanians buy silky red-white threads (șnur) tied into a bow to which a small trinket is attached and offer them to their (female) family members, friends and colleagues to show friendship, respect or admiration.They wear them pinned to their clothes, close to the heart.


George Cosbuc, a famous Romanian author, said about Martisor that is a symbol of fire and light. In Daco-Romanian folklore, seasons are attributed symbolic colours: spring is red, summer green or yellow, autumn is black and winter is white. From these, we can understand that the Martisor thread, knitted in white and red, is a symbol  of passing from the cold winter, to the lively spring, associated with fire and life.

People know that this beautiful tradition has  Romanian origins, but you will be surprised to find this holiday in Bulgaria(Martenitza), Albania or Macedonia. All of these counties have in their origins a Daco-Thracian substrate. In the modern mythology of the Bulgarians, Martisor is said to be related to the founding of their first state, called "hanat" on the Danube, in 681.