Happy Grandma March Day is the day associated with the first of March as well as with the arrival of the spring. Cultural practices associated to the first of March is widely spread across the Balkan, especially in four countries such as Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldavia. Its a tradition since ancient time when people make and wear small amulets for protection and for good health.

Martinki (Мартинки, Macedonia), Mártenitsa (Мартеница, Bulgaria), Mărţişor (Romania/Moldova) are element associated with the beginning of the spring, usually on March 01, but can be also celebrated on March 15 by the Julian calendar, when the small artifacts made of red and white woolen thread containing a message with good and positive feelings and expectations, is given to the loved ones. It’s about a beautiful custom spread throughout one part of the Balkan Peninsula, which we want to promote in and outside its indigenous areas.

This educational video by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains their Mărţişor in more depth

In general, martinki are very positive custom practiced by many people reminding them on a childhood and everybody remember this event with much joy and emotion from the time of their childhood. Since 2013, martinki was proposed to be protected as intangible cultural heritage with the multinational application to UNESCO, in which the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldavia takes part. The application is still ongoing and it is one of the strongest link connected to this event bringing on the daylight a topic less known for the tradition of the Balkan people.


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