Spring Romanian Traditions

Romania is a country where tradition still represents a big part of the people’s identity – which is a really amazing thing, considering the globalisation trend worldwide. Paying attention and remembering what our ancestors did is great – especially when this involves many holidays based on kindness and awareness.

Furthermore, as life and nature come back to life after the cold winter months, we have some traditions that help us enjoy this beautiful season even more! Below we will present the three most popular traditions that occur in the month of March – and how you can make the most out of them if travelling to Romania at this time!


Mărțișor (trinket)

Mărțișor is one of the most popular Romanian traditions, as it marks the beginning of Spring and consists of an act of kindness – which is always more than welcome :).

On the 1st of March, men offer a Mărțișor to the women in their lives (and sometimes women do the same thing for men), which represents a sign of gratitude, appreciation, friendship and love.


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These „lucky charms” consist of a red and a white string, the first representing the heat, love and life of Spring and the latter representing the cold and the Winter. In addition, people also attach various small items such as jewelry, flowers or figurines that often symbolise wealth, health or happiness.

If you happen to be travelling in Romania during the first weeks of March, we can tell you are very fortunate! You can find vendors and small fairs all over the city with lots of unique Mărțișoare to choose from. We actually recommend you paying them a visit, as they are great souvenirs ideas – and often cheaper and filled with tradition!

Of course, the key is to know where to search for the right Mărțișoare – so we have selected the top places for you to check (bonus, here the fairs are organised annually so don’t worry if you read this article in the future):

  • Unirii Square Fair – located at subway station, inside wooden boots (and just a 5 minute walk away from New Era Hotel);
  • Romanian Peasant Museum Fair – based in a museum dedicated to Romanian tradition, this fair is located close to the city center, at two subway stations away from New Era Hotel;
  • Dalles Hall Fair – a cultural center in the heart of the city, the perfect place for a Spring Fair about tradition;
  • University Square Fair – right next to the Old Town (the home of New Era Hotel).


Babele (old ladies)

Have you ever wanted to know how your year is going to be? Well, in Romania people find this out during the first nine days of spring! These days are called „Babe” (or old ladies) and the weather each day is going to dictate how your year is going to be (get a sunny „Babă” and you’ll have an amazing year!). Romanians choose a „Babă” – a day between the 1st and the 9th of March – and await to see the result.

The tradition comes from an old legend of Baba Dochia (the mother of Dragobete, another traditional character whom we mentioned in an article about wines – read if we made you curious:) that climbed a mountain wearing nine coats. On the first day it started raining so she took one coat off – and continued to do so for the following days until she reached the top and died of cold.


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40 Mucenici (40 Martyrs)

The tradition of „Mucenici” has religious origins, as it represents the 40 Martyrs in the Legio XII Fulminata (the action taking place during the fourth century). Unfortunately, they were burned alive in Sebaste (or the present Turkey) because of refusing to give up their Christian belief.

In order to commemorate them, every year on the 9th of March women all over the country bake special desserts in the shape of figure „8” – this shape denotes a stylised form of the martyrs themselves. You can find different variations of the dessert depending on the region – but the advantage of Bucharest is that you can find all of them here – pro tip: you can find mucenici at the biggest pastriest in the city (lots of them being located right on the main streets around the city center!:)


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