In every year, in Romania, on the first day of March is the festival of the small gifts for women, when men give to women a Martisor, namely a small gift made of plastic or other colored elements, which is attached on the collar of coats. This small gift is a symbol of love and sincerity between men and women. The small gift is connected on collar with a pin and to it is attached a line from two colors, one red and the other white. This is a Martisor.
In our orthodox Tradition it is not an erotic symbol, but also it is a gift of sincerity, of devoted love, is a gift of the nobility of our soul. In early days this gift represented an acknowledgement of the debut of spring and a sign of the regeneration of nature and of love in the world.
Today, in postmodern age, this symbolic gift of our love for women, for loved women, is combined with flowers. In this day it is a massacre of flowers, because thousands of flowers are picked off and sold in the market places. The children offer a number of three or five flowers, together with Martisoare ( the plural for Martisor) to the women teachers, as a sign of their respect.
Today the festival is not a religious Tradition, but a national Tradition. The Orthodox Church from Romania has not in its calendar a sign for this national Tradition, but all the people knows that in the first day of March is the Martisor.
For me, it is a regular day, now, when I am an adult, but in my childhood I had a real preoccupation for this gifts of Martisor. I used to have girls colleges and favorite women teachers and I had to give a Martisor to every one. As a priest , today, I pray for everybody, in principal for children and I suffer for the thousands of flowers that are killed in order to became a gift.
Father Dorin Octavian Picioruș.