On the 1st of March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) celebrates the ancient March tradition ‘Mărțișorul’, symbolically marking the arrival of spring. ‘Mărțișorul’ and the 1st of March are significant events of Romanian spirituality, every year, offering the chance of marking and celebrating a very beloved ancient tradition.
Very dear to Romanians, the ‘Mărțișor’ tradition is specific to the South-Eastern European cultural space. The custom of making and offering the March-specific adornment ‘Mărțișorul’ is linked to the beginning of the year that both the Geto-Dacians and Romans celebrated during the spring, upon the revival of nature after the winter season. ‘Mărțișorul’ was a kind of charm meant to bring good luck, offered upon the arrival of the new year, accompanied by wishes of wealth, health, love and joy.
In Romania, the ‘Mărțișor’ custom has been preserved almost untouched over the centuries in terms of the archaic manufacturing technique and the ritual dedicated to this day with a very special significance. The tradition enshrines not only the significance of the trinket, but also that of the lace woven of red and white threads, symbolizing the purity, respectively the heat and the sun that revive nature during spring.
Nowadays, this artefact is experiencing a creative variety of its forms in terms of manufacturing, enshrining the remarkable continuity of this tradition of spring welcoming.
Reiterating this year also the heritage value of the March Celebration ‘Mărțișorul’, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes this traditional symbol as regards its origin, history and variety of specialized interpretations in order to preserve and perpetuate the tradition associated with the 1st of March.
On this occasion, with the support of Romanian citizens' associations, the Romanian diplomatic missions, consular offices and cultural institutes from abroad organize various events that contribute to a better awareness and perpetuation of Romanian traditions among young generations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the March Celebration ‘Mărțișorul’ along with all those who, marking this beautiful celebration throughout the country, highlight its outstanding significance as a form of preservation of Romanian spirituality and cultural specificity. The MFA actively and intensively supports all efforts for registering this tradition on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
We wish you all a wonderful spring!
‘Mărțișorul’ is an ancient Romanian celebration marking the arrival of spring. On the 1st of March, people offer to dear ones March-specific adornments (‘mărțișoare’) as little tokens of gratitude, in particular ladies benefit from this attention. ‘Mărțișoarele’ are considered to bring happiness and good luck. Traditionally, they are made of a red and white bow to which other symbols of good luck are added, such as four-leaf clover, horseshoe, chimney sweep, heart. This symbol is worn on the outside for a week or two.
Besides the Northern Balkans, the Romanian space is among the areas where the ‘Mărțișor’ custom is still alive. The recognition of its singularity and ancientness and the perpetuation of the tradition to this day is the main goal of Romania–Republic of Moldova–Republic of Bulgaria–Republic of Macedonia joint initiative for registering the ‘cultural practices associated with the 1st of March’ on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.