Welcoming spring in Romania
What does the world know about Romania? My guess is that less than they should. Shrouded in controversy, still recovering after a difficult communist past, at times misinterpreted and best known for the legends the Carpathians stemmed, Romania deserves positive attention for many reasons. One of them is that welcoming spring in Romania is one of the happiest things possible.
Romanians who move abroad miss home for many reasons, but particularly for the enthusiasm people have when welcoming holidays. They have a few celebrations and traditions of their own. Now that spring is coming, you can see street fairs and stands with amulets, flowers and little tokens all around the country as Romanians are preparing for “Martisor”.
Celebrated on March 1st, Martisor is the celebration of spring, love and friendship. On this day, people exchange small gifts, particularly in the form of amulets, pendants or brooches that are called “martisor”. This tokens of love or friendship have a cord with a red and a white line entwined.
Legend has it that once upon a time, the Sun – who used to transform into a man and descend on earth to enjoy life among humans – was caught and imprisoned in a dungeon by an evil Dragon. Nature died and warmth and joy disappeared until one day, when a brave young man decided to rescue the Sun. He fought the Dragon and set the Sun free, but was gravely wounded.
He would not see spring return to the land, but as he lay dying on the ground, the last drop of his blood soaked into a patch covered in snowdrops and the young man died content that his life had served a purpose.
Beyond this beautiful but melancholy legend, the celebration of Martisor is a very merry one! And one that lasts for more than a week in March. If you want to join in the happiness, with car hire Romania, you can travel around the country and learn more about the fascinating local traditions.