The 1st of March. Here in my neck of the woods it’s the end of summer. The locals hate it, although there’s barely any noticeable change in the weather and it’s beach season all year round.
I love autumn, I always have, so March is no drama to me. But also, as I was born and raised on the other hemisphere, March has other meanings to me. Where I come from, the first day of March means the beginning of spring, new beginnings, re-birth and hope. It is not easy to describe but try to imagine a city where streets are full of people selling and buying flowers. Mainly snowdrops, but also crocus, two-leaf squills, freesias. Spring flowers, freshly picked and tied up in tiny bunches. Tiny but brave, because they have just pierced through the snow, beautiful metaphors of new season and new life.
Spring flowers and “martisoare”.
The martisor is an old tradition, going back thousands of years, abundant in symbolism and linked with beautiful legends. It means “little March” and it is a small pendant attached to a red and white string with tassels on each end. Given to friends and loved ones on the 1st of March, it is meant to bring them good health, luck and prosperity for the year ahead. They wear it pinned to their clothes, usually close to the heart or on the collar and wear it at least for the first week of March, if not the whole month. It’s a gift of love and happy vibes.
The little pendant attached to the string can have many meanings. Some of the most popular ones are the four-leaf clover, the horseshoe, the ladybug or the chimney sweep, all lucky charms. There are many unique and beautiful ones made by talented crafters. Whether they are made of dried flowers, resin, ceramics, crochet, macramé, cross-stitching, quilling, painting or any craft you can possibly think of, the possibilities and designs are endless. The red and white string is usually silky, but it can be also made of thread or wool.
I am sending a virtual martisor to all of you from the Northern Hemisphere, together with my happy thoughts. And for the Southern ones, I hope you won’t miss summer too much. Autumn is such a beautiful and inspiring season. Happy 1st of March!