Welcoming spring traditions in Romania

The transition from winter to spring is one of the greatest celebrations in Romania and rightly so, our winters are quite harsh on us. Here are some welcoming spring traditions that we have:

In late February there are traditions through which people try to banish the winter. In villages from Banat and other regions, locals go on the streets dressed up in scary costumes to scare winter’s bad spirits away.

On the first of March we have the most beautiful and meaningful tradition: Martisorul. The tradition is symbolically correlated to women and to fertility as a means of life and continuity.

In the old calendar, the 1st of March was the beginning of the New Year and represented the renewal of the life cycle. These days women receive a martisor which is a small ornament with white and red ribbon. If the person wears it she will be strong and healthy.

Ever since the Romans, the spring was an occasion to glory Mars, the Roman god of war and also the agricultural guardian. In Moldova and Bucovina, from ancient times, martisorul was made from a silver or golden coin, pinned-up with white-red cotton. The children wore it around the neck, and girls used to wear it in their hair until the flowers of the trees blossomed.

Nowadays, the ribbon is attached to different hand-made objects which represents animals, flowers, letters and other symbols with different significance. It is a joy to see women wear it.

Another custom for the beginning of March is to pick your baba, meaning a day between 1st and 9th of March to see how your year will be, depending on how the weather is on that day. If the chosen day is sunny and beautiful you will have a very good year, peaceful and with lots of accomplishments. If the weather is not so great on that day, your year doesn’t seem to be so great, but you don’t have to worry as the next year will definitely be better for you!

Normally your baba is the day of the week when you were born, but you can also change that and change your luck.

So … choose a day from 1 to 9 of March and you’ll know how the rest of the year will be 🙂

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