Thursday, 1 March 2018


Today is Mărțișor and the first day of spring in Romania. Some years it's sunny. This year we've a foot of snow and it's minus 16° Celsius = 3° Fahrenheit.
"Mărțișor is an old tradition celebrated throughout Romania every year on March 1st. The name Mărțișor is a diminutive of March (Martie in Romanian). It is believed that the person who wears the red and white string would enjoy a prosperous and healthy year." 
More on Mărțișor here.


  1. David in Ukraine1 March 2018 at 11:43

    Hello Paul,

    Mulțumesc for the Mărțișor greetings.

    Interestingly this tradition is not unique to Romania because it is also practiced (with some variation) in Bulgaria:

    But from my limited research (asking the locals) it doesn't seem to be practiced in neighbouring countries in the western Balkans. Even the Macedonians I have worked with have not known about it.

    Its a nice tradition and another reason to enjoy living in Romania.

    Happy St Davids day! :)

    1. David, thank you for this information. Nothing happens on March 1 in Ukraine?
      (Did you leave Moscow?)

      Nowruz, the celebration of the vernal equinox, is a pre-Islamic festival which was revived in Kurdish Iraq as a symbol of Kurdish culture and is celebrated in Iran in defiance of the regime. It may be Zoroastrian in origin or be connected to Mithraism (!) or be older still.

    2. David in Ukraine2 March 2018 at 16:17

      No nothing is celebrated in Ukraine for 01 March.
      But 08 March is a public holiday.
      I left Moscow just before Xmas and mobilised in Kiev in the New Year.
      But I hope to leave here in April to return to Belgrade for a long assignment.

  2. Same here in Bulgaria - but different name

  3. Bulgarians celebrate on March 1 a centuries-old tradition and exchange martenitsi on what is called the day of Baba Marta. The tradition of giving friends red-and-white interwoven strings brings health and happiness during the year and is a reminder that spring is near.

    Baba Marta (Grandma March) is believed to be a feisty lady who always seems to be grudging at her two brothers, January and February, while the sun only comes out when she smiles. As folklore there are different versions of the Baba Marta tale. One says that on that day she does her pre-spring cleaning and shakes her mattress for the last time before the next winter - all the feathers that come out of it pour on Earth like snow - the last snow of the year.

  4. Nice gesture, but we don't wish anything on Mărţişor. We don't say Happy Whatever or Whatever Anything

    You can say whatever you think is nice, but you don't WISH anything.

    This recalls me my sweet-heart in the 1-4 grade, who told me on Easter "I wish you 'Christ has resurrected'"