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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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Here’s Why Everyone Can Get Stacked At Home During Lockdown

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Has the lockdown been tough on your body? Without the gym to lean on, it can feel as if you don’t have space, specialist equipment, or motivation to maintain a hefty amount of muscle mass. 

Sadly, this leads you to one conclusion – you’re going to lose all of your hard work from the past couple of years. Sure, the home workouts that everybody talks about are cool, but only if you have space and freedom to exercise at home. Not everybody owns their property, and not everybody has a spare room that doubles as a gym.

The good news is that you don’t require any of that stuff, and here are the reasons why.

Basic Exercises Are Your Friend

When you review home workouts, your eyes instantly gravitate to the exotic activities as they seem harder and more challenging. Considering that you want to get your pump on, you don’t want the session to be straightforward. However, the basic exercises feature on pretty much every home workout plan, and it’s because they’re effective and adaptable.

If, for example, you find push-ups and sit-ups too easy, you can try bicycle crunches or place a weight on your back as you press down and push back up. They’re also multifaceted activities and will train a range of muscles.

Reps, Reps, And More Reps

Do you find home workouts to be less stimulating than your gym sessions? Do you lack the motivation to build muscle in your bedroom or living room? If you are, all you have to do is up the number of repetitions. Suddenly, the constant pressure from the plank will rattle your bones until you can barely rest on your forearms without feeling a burn in every inch of your body.

Whether it’s core or strength exercises, two to three sets of ten reps each will make you reconsider your opinion on home workouts!

Readymade Equipment Already Exists

You’d love to perform a few of your gym sessions at home but lack the tools. The one thing about a gym is that it contains all the specialist equipment you require to focus on muscle groups and increase mass. Well, your home also does; you just don’t realize it yet. Take a look at every door frame and you’ll see a ledge for pull-ups. How to do a pull-up is your decision, but as long as you grip the top of the wood with plenty of friction, you’ll always have the option.

Some people go as far as installing a pull-up bar, which is a walk in the park with thanks to the video below.

You’re Always Connected To The Internet

If you’re wondering why this matters, it’s because home workouts can get boring if you stick with the same exercises. However, there are tons of different activities available on the internet, and you’ll always have a connection at home. As a result, you can research and prepare new sessions in minutes before going into the next room and smashing it out.

Come on – do you still think you can’t get stacked at home during the lockdown?!

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Irrefutable Truths About Having Kids in the Modern World

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parent child

There are so many things that play a role when you have kids, and you need to understand that there are plenty of things that you need to bear in mind. Having children is a massive responsibility, and there are a lot of things that you need to think about to help you make you the most of this. Understanding what parenthood entails is one of the things that plays a massive role in helping you hit the ground running. 
There is no rulebook or manual for telling you the right way to parent, but there are plenty of tips and hints you should be looking at that can help with this. Every child is different and every parenting approach will be different, but there are a lot of things that you have to keep in mind to help with this. Make sure you focus on trying to make the best possible decisions you can, and there are a lot of issues you can look at that will help you with this. Check out these irrefutable truths about being a parent these days that apply to everyone.

You’ll Always Worry

One thing that is absolutely certain about being a modern parent is that you are going to worry. It’s part and parcel of the process, and this is something you need to work on. Don’t be afraid that you are worrying too much, as this is something that all parents do, you are not alone here, and it’s important to understand that. Worrying is part of having kids, and it’s the part you’ll never quite get used to, so you are going to need to do as much as possible to work on this and do what you can to try to stop worrying and panicking quite so much, but this can be hard. 

It’s Expensive

Something else to think about when you have a kid is the fact that this is very expensive, and you are immediately going to be having additional costs to contend with. Make sure you look at what you can do to save money as much as possible. Whatever you can do to cut the costs of having a child is something you need to look into right now. That means saving where you can, using hand me downs if possible, using coupons and vouchers to save money on travel or days out, and preparing and cooking meals at home as opposed to eating out all the time. Everything you can do to slash costs, even slightly, is going to have a major impact on this process. 

Kids Change Your Life

Children will change your life, there is no question about that. This is something nobody can really be prepared for until it actually happens to them, and there are so many factors that will change in your life as a result, such as family holidays. Try to think about some of the best ways of making sure you work on this as much as possible. There are a lot of things that will change forever when you have children, such as your responsibilities, and your approach to life in general. You will now start to base your life around your children and helping to nurture them as much as possible.

State Help is Available

A lot of people forget or overlook the fact that state help is available to those with children. Whether it’s Taiwan’s childbirth allowance or the UKs Child Tax Credit, government help is available to parents all across the world. Having a child can be tough, and it can especially be tough for couples or parents who have low incomes. Sometimes the money received from government support can be crucial for improving your livelihood and helping you feed and clothe your kids as much as possible. So this is definitely something you’re going to want to know about and look into as much as possible. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Something a lot of new parents seem to struggle with is asking for help when they need it. Being a first-time parent can be incredibly hard, and this is something you are going to have to get right as much as possible moving forward. Try to come up with ideas that will help make things easier for you, but also, make sure you ask for help if you need it. There are plenty of ways you can get help from the state, and, of course, family and friends can play a big role in the process of helping you out as well, especially your parents who have done this before so do have wise words to impart on the matter of parenting.

Nighttimes Might be Stressful

One thing that is for sure is that nighttimes are going to be stressful. You can kiss goodbye to that 8 hours of blissful and uninterrupted sleep, and this is something a lot of people struggle with. Getting into a good nighttime routine early in the process is really important, and this is something you should try to work on. Alternatively, you could get in touch with a sleep therapist who can give you advice for some of the things you should look to do when it comes to getting your child to sleep better. With a structured routine in place, it is going to get a little bit easier to deal with this, and you should have a baby that sleeps better as a result. 

There are a lot of things you need to bear in mind as a parent, and you need to try to do as much as you can to make this process easier for you. Try to do as much as you can to understand the important parts of being a parent, and try to work on being as good as you can be for your kids. There are so many things that you need to make the most of right now, and this is something that plays a big part in the process of improving your approach to parenthood. 

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Buying The Right Furniture To Do Your Home Justice

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Pixabay furniture

Home furniture options seem to be much more limited when it comes to high street shopping these days. Even out-of-town stores seem to stock a smaller range of pieces as rents rise and floor space is at a premium. Today, everyone’s buying online. It’s easy to visualise yourself buying a book or a kitchen appliance online – after all, you know that wherever you source it from, it will be essentially the same item. However, you could be forgiven for not knowing where to start when it comes to home furniture. How can you tell from a few photos what will be a good buy and what won’t?

Every piece of furniture is an investment and one you hope will last for years to come. The pieces you choose are also a reflection of who you are and make a statement to those who see it in your home. Moreover, each item also needs to fit within the overall décor of your room and not look out of place. You don’t want antique furniture if you’ve invested a contemporary house design. So how do you go about choosing and buying furniture online? 

You will probably already have a good idea of the style of furniture you want for the room you are fitting out. The first thing to do is search relevant keywords and note down the manufacturers’ names that come up. Maybe you’re after ‘best shabby chic bedroom furniture’, in which case the Coach House Fayence or Belgravia range may pop up in your search results. Perhaps you ask Google for a more contemporary look for your living room, in which case the Rowico Lulworth range may be more your scene. 

Once you’ve found a few names of popular makers of the kinds of home furniture range you want, your next step is to narrow down the search based on quality and budget. A rough look through a few retailers’ websites will give you an indication of prices. In fact, you might be surprised at what you can afford: Internet retailers can often reduce costs by cutting out the middleman and selling directly to the public. As for quality, search for independent online reviews from past buyers to back up the manufacturers’ claims.

Once you’ve found the pieces of furniture you want, the next factor to consider is who to purchase from. There is an ever-growing wealth of online sellers, some great and some not so good. The first thing to check on a company’s website is whether it will deliver to your part of the country. There’s little benefit in ordering low priced items from overseas if you then have to fork out a fortune for delivery and/or customs charges. Many good retailers will offer free delivery on larger items, or for orders over a certain amount. This can help save you money. 

Check how long it will take for your furniture to be delivered. Six to ten weeks for hand-crafted items is reasonable; anything less is a bonus. As furniture, especially that made from solid wood, is heavy and prone to damage, look for the company’s assurances that shipping and delivery are managed appropriately and with guarantees against damage in transit. You should also choose a firm with a fair returns policy in the unlikely event you’re not happy with your order when it arrives. Finally, it’s a smart idea to find out what past customers have said about retailers. Has the company delivered on its promises or been responsive if there were any issues?

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