Mărțișor is one of the major three most important events for couples and families in February / March. For all three events, the expression of appreciation, love and respect is the major theme. They are celebrated across Romania, Moldova and other areas with a significant Romanian share of Romanians.
Mărțișor (literally “little March”) is a symbol for the coming spring. It also resembles the talisman for the wearer to be strong and healthy in the upcoming year. The red & white string is the major feature of the talisman. Sometimes a coin or another symbol is attached to it. In former times, the coin was used later in March to buy bread (white) and wine (red), which promised to keep the face beautiful (white) and healthy (red). At the end of March, the ribbon was bound to a fruit tree twig.
Today, Mărțișor marks the peak of a intensive period for men, where on March, 1st the appreciation, love and respect is shown to the beloved one, followed by March, 8th (women day). Just shortly before, Romanian Valentine day (Dragobete) is being celebrated. The highlight (while easily forgotten, if not reminded) is every fourth year, where actually the roles are changed and men could expect to receive a Mărțișor. Of course reality might differ 😊.
In Sibiu, the complete pedestrian starts to fill with little stalls in the week before. Here you can buy little flower bouquets and of course the Mărțișor in all kind of forms and sizes. Peak business is often in the evening, where many after work try to get their Mărțișor shopping done quickly before going home. This year, Mărțișor happens on a Sunday, which gives some extra time for selection and shopping either alone or together with the partner.
A lot of items are meanwhile the result of mass-production, while you will always find also hand-crafted ornaments and bracelets.