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Romania Welcomes Spring with Martisor Day. History and Traditions

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Martisor march 1

Attached to the Red-White string, there are
symbols considered to bring luck
Here – Horse shoe Martisor

As Spring begins, everything comes back to life. To mark the beginning of a new cycle of life, Romanians have a special tradition, called Martisor.

Origin of Martisor

The day of March 1, according to the old calendar, was considered the beginning of the New Year, the celebration of Spring’s arrival. Martisor is an over 8000 years old tradition, born in the lands where now Romania is. In the time of the Dacians (Romanian ancestors), spring symbols were made during winter and were worn starting with March 1st. Martisor were then white and red pebbles, strung on a string and worn around one’s neck. The red color, given by fire, blood and sun, was attributed to life, hence to women. White, on the other hand, conferred by the clarity of water, the white of the clouds, was specific to the wisdom of men. Besides, the cord of the Martisor expresses the inseparable interweaving of the two principle as a permanent movement of matter. It signifies the exchange of vital forces that give rise to life, the continuous cycle of nature.

Martisor march 1

Martisor across the borders –
made by Sanskar Shrivastava in India
for TWR Romania team

The significance of Martisor remained the same over time: it’s a symbol of spring, of the returning to life. It brings optimism and faith. Back then, Martisor was attached to a rose or a blossoming tree, to bring luck, or was thrown in the direction from which wandering birds came, saying “Ia-mi negretele si da-mi albetele” (Take me the black and bring me the white” – meaning take away the surrow and everything negative and exchange it to happiness and good things).

Martisor Story

The legend says that the Sun descended in a village, at the village dance, taking the shape of a lovely girl. A dragon watched her and abducted her from the crowd and trapped her in a dungeon. The world was so sad. Birds stopped singing, rivers stopped flowing and children stopped laughing. Nobody dared to confront the dragon. But one day, a brave young man decided to go save the Sun. Many people led him and gave them from their powers to help him overcome the dragon and release the sun.

ghiocei martisor march one

Snowdrops – Spring’s first flowers

The journey lasted three seasons: summer, autumn and winter. He found the dragon’s castle and they began fighting. They fought for days until the dragon was defeated. Feeble and wounded, the young man released the Sun. It rose in the sky, chearing up people. It revived nature, people have rejoiced, but the brave young man never got to see spring again. The hot blood from his wounds drained in the snow. While the snow was melting, white flowers were blooming, Snowdrops, the messengers of spring. Even the last drop of blood dripped in the pristine snow. He died. Since then, young people knit two tassels together: one white and one red. They offer them to the girls they love or to their loved ones. Red means love for all that is beautiful, reminiscent of the color of the brave man’s blood. White symbolizes the health and the purity of the snowdrop, the first flower of spring.

Martisor Traditions

Martisor is worn on “the days of Old Dochia” [Zilele Babelor] that are between 1 to 9 March. In present times, the custom is to pick a day from this period and it’s said that depending on how that day will be, that’s how all your year will be. A sunny day predicts a good year and a gloomy one a bad year.

In some regions, Martisor is worn during the whole month of March, then attached to the branches of a fruit tree. It is believed this will bring wealth into people’s homes. They say that if someone makes a wish and hang Martisor on the tree, it will come true soon. In early April, in a large part of Romania and Moldova’s villages, trees are decorated with Martisors. In Moldova, the musical festival “Martisor” takes place every year, starting on March 1 until March 10.

In some counties of Romania, Martisor is worn only in the first two weeks of March. In Transylvanian cities (center Romania), Martisors are hanged on doors, windows, horns of domestic animals, because it is considered that it can frighten evil spirits. In Bihor county it is believed that if people wash their face with rainwater fallen on March 1, they will become more beautiful and healthy. In Banat, girls wash with snow so they will be loved. In Dobrogea, Martisors are worn until the arrival of cranes, then thrown in the air so that their happiness will be great and have wings. In Moldova, on March 1 girls give Martisor to boys and they give them Martisors back on March 8 (this differs slightly from the rest of the country). The Festival of Martisor can be found in the Balkans at the Aromanians and Megleno-Romanians, as well at the Bulgarians who call it Marten/ Martenitsa (Мартеница) and also in Macedonia and Albania.

Different Martisors march 1

Wearing Martisor

Martisor can be basically any good-luck token that has attached the red-white martisor string. Most commonly used are the four-leaf-clover, the chimney sweeper, horse shoe and ladybug. Also, traditional models are ones made out of dry flowers casted in amber or small metal broches.

traditional martisors

In the last years though, the trend has changed a bit and there are many who prefer wearing the bracelet Martisor (it’s like a friendship bracelet)  – such as the ones below, as there are more and more people who like and do handmade designs.

bratari martisor

Martisor Bracelets

Apart from these rather traditional Martisor, you can gift/receive a martisor in so many other forms, from jewelry or scarfs to flowers that have attached one red-white string. One wears a Martisor either pinned on its tshirt/coat etc or tied around the wrist.

copac martisor

Martisor tied to a fruit tree

Either way you like to wear it and whatever model you prefer, we hope it would work it’s ‘magic’ and bring you a happy prosperous year

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5 Simple Additions That Will Give Your Kitchen a Makeover

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When you think of a kitchen renovation, you probably get intimidated by the very thought of having to overhaul everything, replace components, and commit to expensive upgrades. However, you don’t necessarily need such fancy and costly improvements to bring your kitchen to life. In fact, many times it’s a collection of little things that add up to create a desirable and diverse kitchen space. With that said, here are 5 things you can add to your kitchen in one day to make it look like a different place.

1. Sink or Faucet Upgrade

A tarnished faucet neck that has lost its shine can really make the whole sink area look dull and outdated. Other than cooking, the primary kitchen activity is washing dishes, so you’re going to be staring at that faucet neck for quite a while, which is why it has such a strong visual impact on the room – it’s a clear focal point. Thus, you’ll want to take your time comparing models on platforms like Best Kitchen Faucets Hub to ensure you’re choosing one you won’t mind looking at every day during dish duty.

2. Countertop Garbage Disposal Button Upgrade

Even if you already have a conventional garbage disposal system, replacing the standard wall switch setup with a countertop push button system can add a subtle yet convenient feature to your sink area. Instead of having to walk over to the wall switch, you’ll have a convenient “air switch” button right next to your sink, and they come in all sorts of colors to match your décor.

3. Island Bar

If your kitchen is spacious enough, you can install a new island bar in a single afternoon and have additional counterspace as well as another surface for organized cooking accessories and decorative items. Many prefab islands are easy to assemble and come with instructions as well as drawers for utensil storage space.

4. Painted or Wallpapered Cabinets and New Handles

Replacing your cabinets altogether can be costly and time consuming but going over them with a couple layers of paint and gloss is much easier. You can also use cabinet wallpaper to add some nice designs for a more noticeable and unique change. Likewise, handles are cheap and can really make your cabinets look brand new. All of this can usually be done for $50-$200 depending on the size of your cabinet setup and the materials you select.

5. Laminate Countertop Sheets

Finally, you’re probably going to want your countertops to match the niceness of everything else you’ve added thus far. The easiest way to do that without investing a lot of money or effort is to simply install some countertop laminate sheets.

Throw in a Welcome Mat and Consider a Flooring Upgrade

To finish it off you might as well slap down a nice decorative welcome mat at the kitchen’s entrance just for an extra touch of homeliness. While you’re looking at the mat, you might notice that your flooring isn’t up to par with the rest your newly improved kitchen. Before you start fretting about the cost of changing the flooring, consider taking a DIY laminate approach to save money.

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Why You Should Consider Volunteering

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If you are looking to gain a whole range of life skills, and give something back to your local community, then why not consider signing up to volunteer? Volunteering enables you to meet new people, not to mention you will be reaching out and touching another individual’s life for the better. When you decide to volunteer it is up to you to decide how much time you want to dedicate and set aside to make a difference. So if you are looking to make new friends, learn new skills and enrich your life through meeting some wonderful and unusual people, then volunteering is the activity for you.

 Health and wellbeing

If you decide to volunteer you are not only going to improve the health and wellbeing of others, it will also have a great impact on your own. When you volunteer, you will experience a natural ‘helper’s high’, the instant buzz that you get through assisting other people. When you volunteer, you may be put in situations that place you under pressure, meaning that you get a boost as endorphins or happy hormones course through your entire body. Not to mention when you volunteer you will also be having a positive impact on the health and well-being of the people or communities that you are going to help. From the elderly to young children, if you want to see your energy levels increase and help both yourself and others to feel healthy and well, then consider volunteering.

Quality time

Volunteering will also see you learn how to work better in a team of new and interesting people from all different walks of life. So, it is up to you to learn how to get on with your new team and work closely with them. Consider booking a visit Escape Room in Charlotte, so that you can learn how to bond and make a difference together. Team building activities are the perfect way so that you can learn how to grow together with your new team so that you are prepared to make a difference for the better.

Be realistic

If you are looking to dedicate your time towards volunteering, then you will need to remain realistic right from day one as to how much time you are willing to spend towards helping new projects and communities. Volunteering could quickly become a top priority in your life as you make new friends and get more involved in new and exciting projects. So, it is important before you even sign up that you are clear and realistic as to how much time you want to give back – although be prepared to enjoy yourself so much, that these hours soon increase.

Volunteering is the perfect way to meet a range of interesting and unusual people from all walks of life, as you give back and help communities or individuals. Not only does volunteer benefit your own health and wellness levels, but you will also positively impact that of others. So, if you are looking to learn new skills, meet new people and make a change for the better then be sure to sign up today.

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Are You One Of The Many Millennials That Are Prone To Burnout?

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Burnout is real. It’s something that so many millennials are currently facing without really realizing it. Burnout is simply where your body (and mind) just cannot cope with the activity that you’re throwing at it any longer. When you’re working hard and a lot of hours, when you’re trying to lead a hectic social life, take care of your health, look after your home, and spend time with your family, something’s got to give. Of course, we don’t tend to slow down on work or social or home or family stuff, because it’s what we know we need to prioritize. So, our bodies tend to show signs of stress. And then burnout can set in.

Sometimes, you’ll just stop. You won’t physically be able to work any longer. Sometimes, you’ll start to feel a sense of depression that you just can’t shake. Sometimes, you’ll just realize that things aren’t worth harming your body over anymore, so you slow down and drastically change your lifestyle. Hopefully, you’ll be able to avoid the first two and land at the latter – for your own sake. But, if you do realize that you are probably on thin ice with your lifestyle and you’re worried about burnout setting in, you can stop it in its tracks without having to end up with any of those three outcomes. But how can you do it?

Well, let’s take a look at some of the signs of burnout and what you can do to make sure that you’re not one of the millennial victims.

Signs Of Burnout

Overworking

The very first sign that you’re on a downward slope to burnout is overworking. Even when you love your job, and you’re really happy to put in all of the hours possible to carve your career, you probably don’t even see this as an issue. But, it’s usually the effects of overworking and always being ‘on’ that are going to bring on burnout. We’re addicted to social media and being connected to the world, and this is also a huge influencer for bringing on burnout.

Raising Stress Levels

As both a by-product of overworking and just always being on, you will find that your stress levels are high. You may not feel stressed and angry as such, but your body will be stressed. The excess activity and overworking will always mean that your body will be suffering from stress, even if you feel mentally content. Your mind may be clouded, even though you’re happy too. But let’s also take a look at the physical symptoms.

Poor Health

Stress is such a huge killer. And you might not like to admit that you’re stressed, but your body will be showing the signs. Not only will you be suffering from sleep deprivation (even if you’re sleeping solidly, you might not be sleeping enough), susceptible to colds and other illnesses, not eating well (or enough, due to picking at food on the go), using up too much energy without replacing it. And all of this is then going to lead your body to break down.

No Free Time

The final indicator is that you have no free time. Maybe you think that you’re just an expert planner and that you’ve organized your life successfully. But, that’s not true. Everyone needs a release. If you schedule in free-time and restful moments, catch ups with friends, and just time for you, then great. But if not, this is the biggest warning sign yet!

Combating Burnout

Looking At Your Lifestyle

After reading through the signs, you may start to worry that you’re doomed, or that you are one of the many prone to burnout. But don’t panic. Because you can save yourself. You just need to know what to do to sort of reverse the effects and get yourself back into a healthy rhythm. And the best way to do that is to look at your lifestyle objectively and see if you do show any of the signs of burnout. If you do, now we know what you need to work on to change.

Slowing Down

From here, you’re going to want to slow down and enjoy life. It’s really that simple. You may have to break habits and change your attitude, but you really do have to just start taking it easy. When you do, you should find that you instantly feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. You can enjoy the smaller things in life, sleep well, and generally feel much healthier in yourself.

Taking Action

But next, you need to take action. It’s important that you prioritize your health and start putting things back together. So do the things you’ve been meaning to for a while. Book in with your doctor, call that personal injury attorney to seek advice, think about exercises classes. Whatever you feel is a health issue, you need to take charge and finally put it right.

Committing To Working Hours

A small step but a big one for you will be then to commit to your working hours. Work 40 or 20, not 60 or more. You need to be able to pull back if you’re going to get through this burnout-free.

Making Time For Relaxation

But it’s not enough to just slow down and cut back on your overworking, you also have to make time to rest and relax. When you’re not used to doing this, or you find it hard to switch off, these simple ways to relax are really going to help you to do that. But the important thing is, that you’re actually making time for it now.

Finding Your Ideal Balance

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re finding your ideal balance. Creating a balance in your life can be hard, but if you want to be healthy and happy, then you will do it. You’ll find the perfect balance between home and work and social and ‘me time’ so that you can avoid burnout for good and never become a statistic.

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