Cultural practices of the 1st of March

23 February 2018

The Embassy of Bulgaria and the Embassy of Romania in Cyprus organize an event about “MARTENITSA – MĂRȚIȘOR DAY”, on Thursday, the 1st of March 2018, at 19.00, at the Head Office of Hellenic Bank, Head Office Building – Exhibition Hall. The event is held under the auspices of the Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO and in collaboration with the Association of Bulgarians in Cyprus and the Romanian Society in Cyprus.

Cultural Practices Associated to the 1st of March, inscribed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2017 by Bulgaria, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova and Romania, comprise traditions transmitted since ancient times to celebrate the beginning of spring. The main practice consists of making, offering and wearing a red and white thread, named Martisor in Romanian and Moldovan languages, Martenitsa in Bulgarian. The artefact is considered to provide symbolic protection against perils such as capricious weather, or ensure a safe passage from winter to spring for individuals, groups or communities. When spring arrived, people used to tie red and white threads to tree trunks, to chase away evil spirits. This was a precautionary measure, to avoid any disaster or destruction of flowers, which might prevent the three to bear, later on, fruits. The tradition also states that happiness and luck are only brought by the martenitsa that is given as a present. That's why all Bulgarians give to their relatives and friends martenitsi so as to tie them on their wrists or decorate their clothes and wish them “Happy Baba Marta Holiday”.

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23 February 2018