LivingTravelMartisor is a Christmas tradition celebrated in Romania and...

Martisor is a Christmas tradition celebrated in Romania and Moldova

Martisor, which occurs on March 1, is a holiday celebrated in Romania and Moldova. “Martisor” is an old way of saying “little March”, and is observed with the delivery of martisor amulets.

The tradition of the Martisor amulet

Martisors are small tokens of friendship or love that are given on Martisor’s holidays. Traditionally, martyrdoms have been handed over by the men to the women in their lives, who then wear the martisor attached to their blouses. But March 1 in Romania and Moldova is not just about love, and martyrs have a meaning that some believe dates back thousands of years.

The martyrs can be nothing more than twisted or woven threads, but a small medallion or coin is often attached, which gives the amulet an individual character. In some cases, the medallion or decorative part of the martisor may overshadow the red and white threads that are an integral part of the piece. This locket can take the shape of a flower, a shell, a ladybug, a heart, or any other shape that the manufacturer prefers.


In the past, martyrdoms were made from black and white threads to represent the opposing forces of the world: good and evil, life and death, and darkness and light. This tradition persists in some regions, although it has mostly been replaced by the colors of love.

Today, the martisors are made with red and white threads. The red color symbolizes blood and femininity, and the white color represents the masculine spirit and snow. The combination of the two shows a significant relationship.

Wearing the martisor

Traditionally, martisors are worn for a specific period of time. In some regions, they are used during the first 12 days of March; in others, the user keeps them until the end of March or the first sign of spring.

Like the Bulgarian martenitsa tradition, martisors, once worn, can be transferred to a flowering tree as a way to recognize the onset of spring.

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