March traditions in Romania
March – is the first month of spring, the month when the weather begins to warm and nature became alive and colorful. It is called by the people “Martisor”
March Traditions in Romania.
Important celebration of March are:
The Friday of St. Toader on March 1-st and Martisor
The International Day of Women March 8-th
The St. Martyrs on March 9-th
The Good News on March 25-th
Some of the superstitions of the month of march:
If in the march are blowing winds, then the month of May will be with good weather.
If in March are thunders and lightning, then will be a rich agricultural year.
If in march is raining a lot, then will be rainy autumn.
If the cuckoo sing in march then the year will be a rich one.
The tradition of Martisor is a sequence of a ritual of the rejuvenation of the time and the year and one of the most beloved customs by the women.
The Martisor Cord, made by two twisted wool wires, colored in white and red, represents side by side the contrasts between summer and winter, heat and cold, fertility and sterility, light and dark, love and hate, life and death.
It is worn by the women on the blouse or coat since March 1-st until the cuckoo sings his song, are blossoming the cherry trees are coming to the swallows or storks. Also, the Romanian Martisor is part of the immaterial patrimony of humanity UNESCO.
Traditions of the Good News:
The Good News is celebrated every year during the Big Feast, being one of the religious celebrations when you have permission to eat animal products during the feast. It is celebrated every year on March 25-th.
Exists the custom to custom how many times the cuckoo sing its name, number of times which will discover how many years we have to live. The boys and girls ask the cuckoo how many years are to pass until they will be married. If it will remain silent it is a sign that will have a fast marriage.
The belief of the people is that how will be the weather on this day, the same will be on Easter Sunday.
The belief is to put on the front door of the house bread and salt for the meal of the angels which will take care of the house and family all over the year.
The Easter Feast is the feast between the Resurrection of the Lord. It is the longest and the roughest between the four long feasts of the Orthodox Church. During this feast, are only to opening for eating fish on the Good News on March 25-th and in Palm Sunday.
The first day of the feast is called The Cleaned Monday and it is a day when the people used to clean their houses and purify them using different rituals. On this day the women are forbidden to do anything else but to wash the dishes.
Since the second day of the feast started the real feast which keeps 7 weeks and the believers do not eat meat, milk, cheese, and eggs.
The people are washed with drinks at the bar to clean their sins.
The most beautiful and profound religious services of the orthodox are “Deniile” Especially the ones from the Holy Week. Until then everybody cleans their houses and whitewashes trees. The happiest are the children because are dressed in new clothes and are going to the church.
The Day of the 40 Martyrs is celebrated by the Orthodox Church on March 9-th
The 40 martyrs were tortured and killed by the roman emperor Licinius. Those ones were beaten for about 8 days and sentenced to death by being frozen in Sevestia Lake. In that night were happened many miracles. The water lake became warm, the ice was melted and 40 shiny garlands came over the heads of the martyrs. Seeing all the miracles the emperor ordered them to be left on the field to die their crushing their feet bones.
In this way, the day of March 9-th remains the day of celebration of the 40 martyrs.
On this day in all the communities were many traditions among the one of going with the plow to the field. All the plows from the village were going on the field where the priest was doing a service for a good plowing year. After this ritual, the plowers were going on the field and taking a symbolic furrow and they were eating and feeding their bulls.
The people believe that is raining on this day, will rain on Easter too, and if are thunders, the summer will be full of joy and good for all the crops.
It is frozen in the night before this day the fall will belong.
On this day, the women are baking 40 figures from dough called “little saints” or “martyrs”. Those are made from dough and have the shape of an 8 which represents the 8 days of torture. After baking them they are brushed with honey and sprinkled with nuts and are given for free for the soul of the deads.
Another tradition, says that the males have to drink 40 glasses of wine or brandy and will be healthy all year long and have power for work. The wine is symbolizing the blood spilled by the 40 martyrs. If we sow something on this day will harvest 40 times more, and if this day is not respected will have 40 days of realness.
The martyrs are called “forefathers” because are coming at 9 days after the old women. If the old women are bad and are coming with the snow, the forefathers are good.
Also this day it is called “The day without a name”. The ones without a saint name can celebrate themselves in this day
THE OLD WOMEN
The tradition says that the old women are known as witches which have the power to influence the weather in a day from this period.
The old women are leaded by “Baba Dochia” who give up every day to a sheepskin which is taken by his sisters named after the days of the week: Lucina, Martica,Marcuriana,Joita, Virita, Sitita, si Domnica.
In those days the people are choosing their “baba” and according to the weather from that day will be the rest of their year ( a sunny day a good year, a stormy/rainy day a not so good year, a day with rain at the beginning and the sun, and accordingly year)
To choose your “baba” you have to calculate according to your birthday. For example: if you are born on a day of 12, your baba will be on the day of March 3 because 12 is split in 1+2=3 If you are born in 29 your baba will be March 2-nd because 2+9=11 and 1+1=2
March 8 International day of women:
Is the day when we are celebrating the women as a symbol of life, purity, love, and spiritual beauty. On this day the women in the center of the man's world, the mans offering the woman they love, flowers, and small gifts.