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Mărțișor (Romanian pronunciation: [mərtsiʃor]) is a traditional celebration of the beginning of spring, on March 1st. It is a tradition in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians and Aromanians. Almost the same custom can be found in Bulgaria, while similar ones exist in Albania, Greece and Italy.
Mărțișor is the name for the red and white string from which a small decoration is tied, and which is offered by people on the 1st day of March. Giving this talisman to people is an old custom, and it is believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be strong and healthy for the year to come. It is also a symbol of the coming spring. Usually, women wear it pinned to their clothes for the first 12 days of the month, until other spring celebrations, or until the bloom of certain fruit-trees.
In modern times, and especially in urban areas, the Mărțișor lost most of its talisman properties and became more of a symbol of friendship or love, appreciation and respect.