Romanians have their own special way of welcoming the spring: on March 1, men offer women martisoare, which, according to the tradition, are small items tied with a red and white entwined cord.
However, nowadays, any object can be turned into a martisor, as long as it has the red and white string attached to it.
As every woman in Romania expects to receive a martisor on March 1, and even later until March 8, we’ve made a list of places where you can buy them from in Romania.
The March 1 tradition is one of the most popular and important spring traditions in Romania, so you will basically be able to find martisoare everywhere these days. If you are not that picky, you can buy martisoare from the small stands installed these days near bus stations, metro stations, park entries, on crowded streets, and in popular squares in your city. The traders’ stands are usually placed on the sidewalks, and are full of martisoare of all sizes and colors.
The flower shops also sell martisoare in this period, and this might be a good choice, as you can also buy a small bouquet of spring flowers for the women in your life. The supermarkets, hypermarkets, and shopping malls also included martisoare in their offer, so you can buy one or two while doing your shopping. In stores, they are usually located close to the cash registers.
If you are in Bucharest, you can visit one of the martisor fairs to be organized at the Village Museum (February 27 – March 8), and the Romanian Peasant Museum (February 25 - March 1). A special spring event is also taking place in Uiversitatii Square in downtown Bucharest these days, its program also including a martisor fair.
One can choose from a wide variety of martisoare, from small items made of plastic or other not-so-expensive materials, to small artificial flowers, brooches placed in small boxes, small figurines, handmade jewelry, or just simple bracelets made of red and white cords.
If you want to buy a more expensive item for your wife, girlfriend, mother, or any other important woman in your life, you can go for a beautiful piece of jewelry or the smart gadget she always wanted. However, don’t forget to attach a red and white string to it, to turn into a real martisor.
For the more busy men, the online option may be the better idea. eMag, the biggest online retailer in Romania, has already included some martisoare in its offer, but you can also try other websites such as Boutiquedubonheur.com, Magazinuldemartisoare.ro, Satulmestesugurilor.ro, or Felicitystore.ro.
Most women wear the martisor all March, as it is believed to bring health and good luck for the year to come. They either pin them on their clothes close to their chest, or just put the red and white cord around their wrists.
Irina Popescu, firstname.lastname@example.org