The legend tells that once upon a time the sun, turning into a handsome man used to come down to earth to dance in Romanian villages. Knowing what the new passion of the sun was, a dragon followed and kidnapped him during one of his trips. Then he threw the sun into the basement of his castle.
After the sun was kidnapped, everyone lost their joy, but no one dared to face the dragon. One day, a brave young man decided to go and save the sun. Most of the people followed him giving the young man their power so that he would be able to defeat the dragon.
His journey lasted for 3 seasons: summer, autumn and winter. At the end of the last one, the young man managed to find the dragon’s castle and the battle began. After days of fighting the dragon was finally defeated. Without strength and hurt, the young man released the sun making everyone that had put their hopes in him happy. The nature revived, people started smiling again, only the lad didn’t manage to see spring come.
While the warm blood from his wounds fell on the ground and the snow melted, white flowers, called snowdrops, the messengers of spring, were rising from the ground. When the last drop of his blood dropped in the snow, he died happy because his life had served such a noble purpose. Since then, when spring comes people braid 2 threads: a white one and a red one.
Martisor is a popular Romanian holiday celebrated on the 1st of March. This month of the year is seen as the start of spring, the month when nature comes to life. The tradition says that at the beginning of March men offer this amulet, called martisor, to the girls they love.
In time, this custom has been changed and right now this amulet is not only given by men to the girls they love, but friends also give it to each other as a simbol of friendship and a herald of spring.
At present, “martisoarele” are not represented just by 2 threads, but they are ornated with all kind of flowers and adornments to make them more beautiful.
Traditional or ornated, “martisorul” remains a symbol of sacrifice, meaning at the same time the arrival of spring. The red color represents the love for all that is beautiful and is a symbol of the blood the young man dropped. White symbolizes purity, health and the snowdrop, the first flower that appears in spring.
Martisor was a representation for the sun who decided to come to Earth as a young man and take part to a festival. But his happiness was shortly lived because an ogre kidnapped and imprisoned him. The people were very sad because there was no more sun. The birds would not sing any more, the children weren’t happy any more and the rivers stopped flowing. But still nobody dared to face the ogre, until one day when a brave warrior stepped forward and after taking his strength from the people, he went to challenge the ogre. He had searched for the ogre for three seasons, a summer, a fall and a winter until he found its castle. When he arrived at the castle the brave warrior faced the ogre and they fought for days, until our warrior killed the ogre. In the end the exhausted warrior, with almost no strength, freed the Sun which immediately started to shine thus bringing spring again into the world. Unfortunately the warrior died before he could see the spring season. His warm blood flowed on to the snow until the last drop; where the drops fell a snowdrop rose.