Under the warming sun, towns and villages alike turn their main streets into open-air markets full of smiling and cheerful vendors selling tiny artisanal trinkets and snowdrops in full bloom.
Among them you can find anyone from larger stationary companies, to small shops, and many Fine Arts students showcasing their blooming talent to the the public.
These trinkets are called “Martisor” with the most common ones being either small crafts or jewelry. From figurines to fruits and flowers and abstract pieces, they all share a small bow of white and red woven thread and a pin.
They are never bought for oneself but instead, always exchanged and given to friends and loved ones to wear on the lapel, much like a little trophy or medal. People wear them for a week or two or sometimes, the whole month of March.
In Romania, generally speaking, each season has three months, making 1st of March the coming of the spring. At this time of the year you can see the snow melting under the warm Mediterranean winds arriving from the south. Snowdrops, these tiny and fresh-scented flowers, push their bell-shaped blooms above the snow as nature awakes from hibernation and the air smells of the anticipation of warmer days.
And in this simmering world of alert senses, this simple act of having so many people walking around the city with these beautiful decorations infuses the mind with joy and excitement. It’s a happy time of the year and everyone joins in.
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