Hello Spring, Goodbye Evil Eye

File:Martenitsa E5.jpg

Martenitsas on a blossoming tree.
Source: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Μάρτης [el], мартеница [bg], мартинка [mk], mărțișor [ru]…however you call it, an ancient tradition [el] with multiple variations that takes place in the Balkans. So, weave your red-and-white threads for protection against the “evil eye” or to welcome Spring!

In Greece, old and young people, especially children, wear the traditional “Martis”, a small bracelet made of white and red yarn, from March 1 till the end of the month. Martis, according to the tradition, protects children from sunburn and from the “evil eye”. The red and white woven threads also symbolize the wish for good health. The tradition, with a slight variation, is followed in Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova, where tying a “martenitsa”, a small red-and-white adornment to a blossoming tree, symbolizes approaching spring.


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