Why do we wear the Martia bracelet with the twisted white and red thread ….

March 1st today and most will wear on their wrist a bracelet made of white and red thread.

This is “Marti” or “Martia” , an ancient custom, with a Balkan diaspora. The custom is believed to have its roots in Ancient Greece and specifically in the Eleusinian Mysteries, where the mystics tied a thread, the Kroki, on their right hand and their left foot, as the folklorist Nikolaos Politis observes.

Spring sun protection

According to custom, on March 1, mothers wear a bracelet on their children’s wrist, made of twisted white and red thread, in March or March, to protect them from the first spring sun , which is very harmful, according to popular belief. 
March is also believed to protect against mosquitoes and fleas and even ward off disease and other pests . 

They make it on the last day of February and wear it on the first day of March before leaving the house. In some areas the Martis is worn on the big toe like a ring so that its holder does not stumble. 

When should we take it out?

This bracelet is taken off at the end of the month, or left on the roses. Some argue that they should look for a rose and hang it on one of its branches so that their cheeks turn red, like roses!

Then it will be picked up by swallows, which like migratory birds make their appearance again every spring and will be used to secure the new nest they will build.

On the other hand however the Christian Church  through John Chrysostom has considered the custom pagan since the 5th century.

The nicknames of March in folklore

The “March bracelet” is just one of the many traditions of March, which is a month with a rich folklore tradition.

The popular imagination gave the month of March many nicknames, such as Anoixiatis (because it is the first month of Spring), Gdartis, Paloukokaftis Klapsomartis, Pentagnomos (for the changeable weather), Vangeliotis (due to the feast of the Annunciation), and others indications of his physiognomy related to qualities or actions attributed to him.

Most of them are found in the traditions and proverbs created by the people to explain the abrupt changes of the weather or even the severe winters that are observed in March and that are always dangerous for agriculture and animal husbandry.

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