The Mărţişor, cultural practices associated to the 1st of March

The Committe for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has decided in its 12th session celebrated in Jeju, the Republic of Korea, on 6th of December 2017, that the Romanian tradition of Mărţişor meets all the conditions to be included on the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

This proposal was submitted by Romania along with other three countries - Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova - under the title "Cultural Practices Associated to the 1st of March". The tradition of Mărţişor, preserved and transmitted through the centuries, is one of the most important local spring traditions. Celebrated on 1st of March, Mărţişorul, marking the changing of seasons, is the symbol of rebirth and hope.

The word Mărţişor is the diminutive of March and is popularly used to designate the first month of spring. Between 1st of March and 8th of March, men usually offer women mărţişoare, small symbolic items tied with a red and white entwined cord, as a sign of respect and love.

Mărţişorul is worn all March as it is believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be strong and healthy in the year to come. It is a tradition that all Romanians keep and deeply love.