The Legend of Mărțișor
Updated: Apr 15, 2019
As every 1st of March, people from Moldova, as well as their neighbors in Romania and Bulgaria, get ready to celebrate the Martisor, a festivity that commemorates the end of the Winter and the arrival of the Spring. During this day, Moldovans offer to their beloved ones flowers and martisors, which is the symbol of serenity and happiness. They will wear this tiny symbol in their clothes until the end of March, when the tradition says that the martisors must be hung in a tree and a wish will be given to the owner of the martisor.
The origin of this symbol has a lot of legends around it, here are some of them: In Moldova, the legend says that, many centuries ago, there was the hardest Winter that the Earth could remember. Baba Dokia, the old Winter witch, didn’t want to leave. Everywhere was covered by snow, forbidding food to grow and making people starve. Dragos, the Emperor of Moldova, worried about the situation of his people, decided to fight against Baba Dokia. It was a really tough battle, but in the end, Dragos injuried Baba Dokia. The blood that felt on the snow melted and in its place grew some snowdrops, the first flower that grows in Spring. The Romanian legend is similar to the Moldovan one, but it was the beautiful Spring lady who cut her finger and a few drops of her finger fall on the snow, making posible that the snowdrops could grow.
Another legend tells that there was a time when the Sun used to transform in a Young man, who descend on Earth to dance. A dragon captured him and confined him in a dungeon in his castle. The birds stopped singing and children could not laugh, but anyone dared to confront the dragon. One day, a Young man decided to find the dungeon to release the sun and fight against the dragon. Many people wished him strength and courage to win the battle. The journey towards the dragons castle lasted three seasons (summer, autumn and Winter), and at the end of the third season, the brave Young man finally found the castle. The fight lasted several days until the dragon was defeated and the Young man was able to set the Sun free. Unfortunately, the Young man could not make it through the Spring because of the wounds in his body. His warm blood fall on the snow, making snowdrops grow.
The red color in the martisors symbolizes not only the blood of Baba Dokia or the Young man, but also the love for all that is beautiful. The white color represents purity, Good health and the snowdrop.