Legends of Spring -Romanian Traditions-


by Ada@

EN:  After the Beast from the East I think I can finally talk about spring.

In my country March it is an important month of the year because we celebrate the “war” between winter and spring. March is full of traditions and legends or fairytales, would you like to read some of them?!!!

RO: Dupa Bestia din Est cred ca putem vorbi in sfarsit de primavara.

In tara mea Martie este o luna importanta in an deoarece sarbatorim “razboiul” dintre iarna si primavara. Luna Martie este plina de traditii, legende sau basme, vrei sa citesti cateva din ele?!!!


 by Ada@

EN: I did my research for this article because I didn’t know that we have so many stories about “Martisor” which is the diminutive of marț, the old folk name for March (Martie)  and literally means “little March”.


by Ada@ – the cake made by my mother-

The celebration starts on 1of March and the symbol is a red and white string with hanging tassel customarily given on this day called “Martisor”. In the North part of the country, women’s are given the “Martisor” to the men on 1st March and they will give them back on 8th (know also traditional mother’s day or women’s day). In the rest of the country, they give each other on the first day of March.

In the olden times, the string could’ve also been black and white or blue and white. Initially, the “Mărțișor” string was called the Year’s Rope made by black and white wool threads, representing the 365 days of the year. Giving this talisman to people is an old custom, and it is believed that the wearer will be strong and healthy for the year to come.

Its beginnings are still a mystery, but it is usually said that it originated in ancient Rome, because New Year’s Eve was celebrated on the 1st of March (Martius), the month of the war god Mars. He had a double role: both protector of agriculture and of war, so the celebration signified the rebirth of nature. The duality of symbols is kept in the colors of the Mărţişor: white and red, meaning peace and war.

RO: Mi-am facut temele pentru acest articol fiind ca nu stiam ca sunt asa de multe povesti legate de “Martisor” care este diminutivul pentru marț, numele vechi popular pentru Martie si inseamna  “mica/micutu/mititelul Martie”.

Celebrarea incepe pe 1 Martie si simbolul este o ata rosie si alba impletita si de care se agata tot felul de obiecte si pe care il daruiesti in aceasta zi. In partea de Nord a tarii femeile daruiesc barbatilor pe 1 Martie acest “Martisor”, urmand ca acestia sa le ofere femeilor pe 8 Martie (popular cunoscuta ca ziua mamei sau ziua femeii). In restul tarii se ofera unul altuia in prima zi a lunii Martie.

In trecut ata martisorului putea fi negru cu alb sau albastru cu alb. Initial a fost numit ” Funia anului” realizata din fire de lana alba si neagra, reprezentand cele 365 de zile ale anului. Daruind acest talisman oamenilor este un obicei vechi si se crede ca purtarea lui te va face puternic si sanatos tot anul ce vine.

Inceputurile acestui obicei sunt misterioase, in general se sugereaza ca ar proveni din Roma Antica, deoarece Anul Nou era sarbatorit pe 1Martie, luna zeului de razboi Marte. Se considera ca avea un dublu rol cel al razboiului si cel de protector al agriculturii, deci sarbatorirea reprezenta renasterea naturii. Dualitatea este mentinuta in culorile martisorului rosu si alb, reprezentand razboi si pace.

Martisor String / Ata de Martisor


by Ada@

Different types of Martiosr/ Diferite modele de Martisor

by Ada@

First one it is a traditional Martisor and the second one a creative one because in Romanian language apple is translated “MAR” the first letters from the word Martisor

Primul este un Martisor traditional cu motiv popular si cel de al doilea Martisorul creativ

-internet source-

EN:  One of the legends it is about a young boy that sacrificed himself to bring back the Sun. The legend says that the Sun comes on the Earth embodying a beautiful young man to participate in a party, but the kite saw him and take him, prisoner. The people from the village became sad, unhappy so a young boy decides to go and fight with the kite.  His journey took 3 seasons and the fight was for several days until the kite was death and the Sun release. In the fight, the boy had many injuries and his blood melt the snow and the snowdrops were raising and since then the people knitted together a white and red string.

Another story said an old and poor man who was making different things like dolls, clothes, sculpture to sell them, one day he remains without materials and he just found in the house a white and a red string and put them together attached to a paint, named it “Martisor” and sell it in the first day of March so he invented it.

RO: In una dintre legende este vorba despre un tanar fecior care sa sacrificat pe el pentru a aduce inapoi Soarele. Legenda spune ca Soarele a venit pe Pamant luand chipul unui tanar pentru a participa la o hora, dar zmeul la vazut si l-a luat prizonier. Oameni din sat au devenit tristi, nefericiti asa ca tanarul fecior sa hotarat sa mearga sa se lupte cu zmeul. Calatoria lui a durat 3 sezoane si lupta cateva zile pana cand zmeul a fost omorat si Soarele eliberat. In timpul luptei tanarul a suferit numeroase rani si sangele lui a topit zapada lasand sa apara ghioceii si de atunci oamenii impletesc un snur alb  si rosu, reprezentand zapada si sangele tanarului fecior.

O alta poveste spune ca intr-un sat traia un om sarac care confectiona diferite lucruri ca papusi, haine, sculpturi pentru a le vinde, intr-o zi el a ramas fara materiale si cautand prin casa a gasit doar o ata alba si una rosie, le -a pus impreuna si le-a atasat la un tablou, numindu-l “Martisor” si la vandut in prima zi a lunii Martie asa ca se spune ca el a inventat “Martisorul”.

Like the legend says the snowdrops rais from the snow / Precum legenda spune ghioceii rasar din zapada

by Ada@

EN: A  beautiful fairytale is the story of the Princesses. At the edge of a village were living women and her daughter. Her daughter was very sick and for their living, she was spinning wool and sell it to people from the village. Money that she earns she paid the doctors to heal her daughter. One day she was working and crying for her daughter, a fire chaise was crossing the village. It was the Spring Princesses who asked why she is crying. The women explain her and the Princesses give it a fire beat to make to her daughter a  bow from wool and to put it on her chest to recover her health. The women try to do the bow but the beat was too hot so one day the Winter Princesses cross the village and stop her chaise when she saw the women, asking about her crying. The women explain her and give her beat of snow to calm down the fire. The women spinning together the fire and snow on and she finally made the bow and put it on her daughter’s chest, by a miracle she came back to life. Since then she is spinning a white and red string in a bow and give it to the people of the village to be strong and healthy.

RO: Un basm frumos este acela al Craieselor (Printeselor). La marginea unui sat traia o femeie saraca si fiica ei. Fiica acesteia era foarte bolnava si pentru traiul ei torcea lana si o vindea celor din sat.  Cu banii pe care ii facea platea doctorii ca sa o vindece pe fiica ei. Intr-o zi pe cand lucra si plangea pentru fiica ei o caleasca de foc care trecea din sat spre padure s-a oprit. Era Craiasa Primaverii care a intrebat de ce plange, femeia ia explicat situatia ei si atunci Craiasa ia oferit un caier de foc ca sa-i faca ficei ei o fundita si sa-i o puna pe piept ca sa isi recupereze puterile. Femeia a incercat sa toarca firul pentru a face fundita dar focul ii ardea degetele si nu reusea, asa ca intr-o zi Craiasa Iernii trecea prin sat si s-a oprit la casa femeii care nu mai contenea de plans si intreband-o de ce plange a aflat povestea. Atunci ea a hotarat sa ii ofere caierul de zapada ca sa mai calmeze din foc. Femeia a tors cu amandoua caiere si a resuit sa realizeze un snur alb si rosu, foc si zapada, facandu-l fundita l-a pus pieptul fetitei sale si ca prin miracol aceasta si-ar revenit in fire. De atunci la fiecare inceput de primavara ea toarce snurul alb si rosu  si realizeaza fundite pe care le daruieste oameniilor din sat pentru a fi puternici si sanatosi.

EN: The story that I was knowing is about Baba Dochia and her 9 sheepskins. This story has many variants but the most common one it is the one of Dochia and her daughter-in-law. The story said that on first of March Baba Dochia send her daughter in law to the frozen river to wash the wool until the black wool becomes white and the white becomes black. She went and as much as she was trying the wool had the same color, until by the river cross Martisor and help her to reverse the color so she went home happy. When Baba Dochia see that she decided to go in the mountains with the sheep believe that spring has come. She dresses with 9 sheepskins and on her journey because of the rain or the heat undress all of them, but the spring wasn’t arrive yet so because of her being mean the nature revenge make her an icicle and then in a rock.  You can see them even today in Ceahlau or Bucegi Mountains!

With this story, we have another traditions and superstition at the same time, that on first of March we choose one day from 1 to 9, which represent the sheepskins of Baba Dochia, usually, it is your birthday ( if your birthday it is formed by 2 numbers you sum them until you have just one, for example, 24= 2+4=6) and the traditions said how it is that day it is how your year will be:D  Sunny, warm and beautiful day makes a great year or you can imagine the opposite!

RO: Legenda pe care eu o cunosc este cea a Babei Dochia si a celor 9 cojoace. Aceste poveste are multe variante dar cea mai comuna este cea dintre  Baba Dochia si nora sa. Legenda spune ca Baba Dochia si-a trimis nora la raul inghetat sa spele lana neagra pana devine alba si lana alba pana devine neagra. Ea a mers dar oricat de mult incerca lana avea aceiasi culoare, pana cand pe langa rau a trecut Martisor, care a ajutat-o sa schimbe culoarea lanii asa ca ea a mers bucuroasa acasa. Cand a vazut Baba Dochia a decis sa mearga in muntii cu oile crezand ca a venit primavara. Ea sa imbracat cu 9 cojoace si in calatoria sa din cauza ploii sau a caldurii ea sa dezbracat de cele 9 cojoace, dar cum primavara nu venise inca, natura sa razbunat pe ea si a facut-o sloi de gheata si apoi stanca alaturi de oile ei. Poti sa le vezi si azi in Muntii Ceahlau sau Bucegi!

Alaturi de acesta legenda avem o alta traditie si superstitie in acelas timp, aceea ca pe intai Martie ne alegem o zi de la 1 la 9, reprezentand cele 9 cojoace ale Babei Dochia si de obicei e ziua ta de nastere ( daca ziua ta este formata din 2 cifre, le aduni pana cand ai doar o singura cifra, ca de exemplu:24=2+4=6), traditia spune ca cum este acea zi asa va fi si anul tau:D Soare, cald si frumos sugereaza un an grozav sau va puteti imagina si opusul!

 Dochia’s Rock from Chealau Mountains/Stanca Dochia Munti Cheahlau


Babale from Bucegi Mountains / Babele de pe platoul montan Bucegi


-internet source-

EN:  From last year this tradition is part of UNESCO “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” list (http://www.business-review.eu/news/unesco-adds-martisor-to-its-intangible-cultural-heritage-of-humanity-list-) along with countries like Republica Moldova, Bulgaria where is call Marteniţa, Macedonia, Albania so far I know.

RO: De anul trecut aceasta traditie face parte din Patrimoniul UNESCO pe lista” Patrimoniului Cultural Imaterial al Umanitatii”(http://www.business-review.eu/news/unesco-adds-martisor-to-its-intangible-cultural-heritage-of-humanity-list-) alaturi de tari ca Republica Moldova, Bulgaria unde se numeste Marteniţa, Macedonia, Albania din cate stiu eu.


-internet source-

EN: On the celebration of Martisor we also celebrate Mother’s Day and International Women Day on 8th March, even on October 15, 2009, the Romanian government adopted a law that set the country’s official Mother’s Day on the first Sunday of May and Father’s Day on the second Sunday of May, many of us still prefer to celebrate Mothers’ Day on March 8. On the 9th in the folk tradition, it is actually the men day when they are allowed to drink up to 40 glasses of drink! You can see that elderly were wiser and make the things equal for both parts!

RO: Pe langa celebrarea Martisorului noi sarbatorim Ziua Mamei si Ziua Internationala a Femeii pe 8 Martie, chiar daca pe 15 Octombrie 2009 Guvernul Romaniei a adoptat legea prin care Ziua Mamei se sarbatoreste in prima duminica a lunii Mai si cea a Tatalui in cea de a doua duminica a lunii Mai, multii dintre noi preferam sa sarbatorim Ziua Mamei pe 8 Martie. Pe 9 Martie in folclorul popular, e considerata ziua Barbatului zi in care au voie sa bea pana la 40 de paharele! Cred ca cei batrani erau mai intelepti si au facut lucrurile egale pentru amble parti!

Treats for both sides / Ospat pentru ambele parti


by Ada@-cakes made by my mother-

EN: This is the stories about Martisor one of my favorite celebration along with Christmas and Ester!  Also, the traditions say to keep the string until the first tree blooming and after that, you choose the tree with most flowers and put your string there so your year will be wealthy!   “Martisorul” represents the hope of new beginning!  Which one of the legends you like it the most?

RO: Acestea sunt povestile lui Martisor una dintre sarbatorile mele preferate alaturi de Craciun si Paste! Deasemenea traditia spune sa pastrazi martisorul pana la primul copac inflorit si apoi sa alegi cel mai bogat in flori si sa pui acolo martisorul ca anul sa fie instarit si bogat ca si copacul inflorit! Martisorul reprezinta speranta noului inceput! Care legenda ti-a placut mai mult?

Spring flowers bringing joy and happiness / Flori de primavara care aduc bucurie si fericire

by Ada@

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