Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Martisor!

Today is a huge holiday in Romania-MARTISOR! It is basically the celebration of spring arriving (ironic since it is the COLDEST it's been in awhile) and students give teachers (females) little trinkets with a red and white string, you wear them like a pin. Also given are flowers and chocolates. Here is some information about the holiday that was sent to me...

Locating the ... Mărțișor (Romanian pronunciation: [mərtsiʃor]) is a traditional celebration of the beginning of Spring celebrated in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians and also Aromanians. Almost the same custom can be found in Bulgaria (see Martenitsa) and similar ones in Albania and Italy.

Giving it a name …  Mărțișor is the diminutive of marț, the old folk name for March Martie, in modern Romanian), and thus literally means "little" or "dear March". It is also the folk name for this month. 

A little bit of meaning Mărțișor, marţ and mărțiguș are all names for the red and white (or black and white, also blue and white) string, from which usually a small decoration is tied, and which is offered by people on the 1st day of March. Giving this Talisman to other people is an old custom, and it is believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be powerful and healthy for the year to come. It is also a symbol of the coming spring. Usually, women wear it pinned to their blouses for the first 12 days of this month, until other certain spring celebrations, or until the bloom of certain fruit-trees.

A little bit of history in the past, martisors were made with black and white threads to signify the opposing forces of the world: good and evil, life and death, darkness and light. This tradition persists in some regions, though it has largely been replaced with the colors of love. Today, martisors are made with red and white threads. The red color symbolizes blood and womanhood and the white color represents the male spirit and snow, their combination meaningful for relationships. 

Today was also the 50th Anniversary of the PEACE CORPS! So Vali and I planned a huge Peace Corps Jeopardy competition for the HS and then a dance complete with food-American and Romanian. It was AMAZING! More pictures and details to come with the next blog... :)
Happy Martisor/Spring/Peace Corps Anniversary!!

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