On the 1st of March, to mark the arrival of spring, Romanian women receive, either from men, or from their girlfriends, a small jewel-like ornament tied with a red and white string with hanging tassels. Worn pinned to clothes, on the left, in front of one’s heart, it is usually handmade, but can also be made of out of gold or silver. Central to the age-old custom, is the combination of red and white in the same string, which represents the duality of life and death. Traditionally at the end of march the martisor get get tied to a tree’s branches, but these days, especially in urban areas, they are simply kept in the jewelry box until next spring.

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