Rituals for the first Day of Spring

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I am from Romania, a country filled with tradition.

In our country the first day of spring is called "martisor". it is celebrated for thousands of years...the first day of spring is women's favorite because they receive gifts with white and red ribbons.these come in different forms and women wear them until the 10-th or until they want. in some parts of the country, on the 9-th women return the favour and give men gifts with red and white ribbons. characteristic to our country is a chimney sweeper that is supposed to bring luck to those that receive it.

the ribbon is red and white because red is the colour of spring and white is the colour of winter and it means that the winter is over and the spring is starting, or, as the elders would say " let's forget about the winter and pray to the gods for fertility". the red and white colours are associated with the first day of spring for more than 8000 years. archaeological discoveries uncovered red and white stones placed on a string.

The first day of spring is a holiday dedicated to the ancient god Marte, who was, for the Romans, the god of rebirth, of the green fields, of the colour explosion and of love. Fires are lit and songs are sung to chase off evil spirits and start the spring "clean". the Romans celebrated this god in the first day of spring and passed it on to us so that we can celebrate the beginning of a new year filled with happiness and plenitude.

In some parts of the country the first day of spring is a great Holiday and a time for party, especially if it is begin the easter fast. it is the last chance to eat animal products before what is known as a time for redemption, a time to "clean" yourself before easter. in many villages they do the same ritual every year, for hundreds of years. it is a tradition passed on from generation to generation. To chase off the evil spirits of winter the young persons of the village dress up in costumes and make a lot of noise through the streets so the spirits of winter get scared and go away and the spring comes.

Also, traditionally, in the first day of spring you chose a day, from the 1-st of march until the 9-th of march, and if the day you chose is year will be sad, if it is will have a great you'd better choose wright.

I am fortunate to live in a country so filled with tradition, that in these hard and troubled times gives us hope in a brighter, better future...and we sure need it.

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