Mărţişor (celebrated on the 1st of March in Romania, Republic of Moldova and Bulgaria) is the diminutive of March (in Romanian Martie) and means little March.
It is the symbol of spring and is probably originated in ancient Rome. March is the month of the war god Mars who also has the role of protector of agriculture, thus the celebration signifies the rebirth of nature.
Women are offered little gifts consisting in a talisman, an amulet tied to a red-and-white string and are wished health, happiness and good luck. Exchanging these little gifts - flowers, greeting cards or chocolates- is a gesture of respect and friendship.
March 1 is the beginning of a seven-day period celebrating women and mothers.