Spring with Snowdrops: Martisor Tradition with Subtle Connections to Wordsworth’s Poem

Explore the Romanian Martisor Tradition with Subtle Connections

On this snowy day in Canada, let’s feel and remember the hidden potential of the coming Spring! The Festival of Martisor is always celebrated on March 1st  in Romania and one can draw many connections to the subtle knowledge offered by Sahaja Yoga Meditation. Just mentioning a few on the spot: March is the month of Mars, the planet that  is associated to 1st Chakra – Mooladhara, called as Root Chakra as well) – and its energy is represented by Shri Ganesha that governs  the Innocence and Purity of the Eternal Child within us. The various statues or representations of Shri Ganesha are adorned in India traditionally with red flowers.  On March 1st  when the Martisor Festival starts in Romania, lasting for about 2 weeks, one can see that predominantly the Red & White are used together to mark its presence everywhere. As alike with Valentine’s Day it seems to be, actually Martisor is all about Pure Love & respect that (mostly) men show in small and innocent gifts to the ladies in their lives: not only to their mothers, sisters or daughters but also to their co-workers, neighbors, etc..

Indeed, it’s really nice and sweet when the innocent love, friendship and appreciation find their way into the Romanian society in such a collective and positive expression.

Shri Mataji, was saying: “The Nature is so nicely built up, absolutely harmonious,-when it is winter time the leaves drop out because the Mother Earth requires nutrition and the leaves are not getting so much of sunshine so there should be less surface exposed. The same nutrition is taken up again and again in the Spring you find again the beautiful leaves breaking through. It’s so beautifully worked out, the whole situation, the whole Universe is so beautifully made and the Infrastructure is so made that it receives all the blessings of the Divine without any difficulty.”

(Excerpt from Shri Mataji’s Lecture offered during a Public Program in Hampstead, UK, on July 22nd, 1982)

Do not miss the end of the article with the Poem and the Amazing Image dedicated to a Snowdrop’s Inner Strength or we can say, dedicated to its Kundalini Power.

A similar simple Martisor was offered to our Guru – Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi – on March 1st, 2010 🙂

Of course, as usually everywhere 🙂 , ladies also offer gifts to each other,  as loving gestures of their sisterhood. There are so many spring flowers offered as gifts and there are so many little shops with Gifts of Martisor and  flowers are everywhere There is plenty of creativity and joy in offering and buying these gifts that are mostly hand made. Indeed this very old tradition has a powerful sahaj core in its expression and symbolism. Now, let’s complete our Journey by rediscovering this poet that was appreciated by Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga; the poem featured in this article is connected to the Martisor theme indeed!

Rediscover Wordsworth’s Poem

To a Snowdrop, by William Wordsworth

Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,

And pensive monitor of fleeting years!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Article! On this day of early March, I simply wish to all of us, Seekers, to remain as resilient and graciously powerful in pursuing our Self Realization, as Snowdrops are in following Spring’s Call.

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Shivangi Mankad

    Beautiful like a Martie!

  2. Sudhakar Shukla

    Thanks Ioana,
    The photograph in a way represents the innate desire of the Kundalini to rise and meet with the creator of the universe. The winter and ice is symbolic of the mire and ‘maya’ around us! Beautiful, pl keep the good work going. Sudhakar Shukla

  3. geri

    It is an East European tradition. In Bulgaria for example is one of the most celabrated traditions during the year, welcoming the Spring. It is giving or tiding on the hand as a raki “Martenitza” – the best way to wish a good helth and long life to a person…
    it is like raki-ing everybody, even the animals, trees(symbol of Mother Earth, Nature)
    The red(girl) and white(boy) colours used to make Martenitza rapresents the women&male power of Creation which always work together – in Sahaj culture we have Left and Right channel of Shri Mahakali (puer desire) and Shri Maha Saraswati ( pure action/creation). Only when those two living powers are working together, then auspisciousness and wealth will reign on Earth.
    Wishing you all mostly Health(of the Spirit) and Happiness! May Matreniza keep you safe and brings Luck to you.
    View here how to make Martenitza and share with all people you Love.

    Much Love, Geri

  4. geri

    Thanks Ioana for making this beautiful post reminding our custom traditions and the wisdom inside them.
    Here is the story from bulgarian folklore tales collection i wish to share with you.
    Hope you’ll enjoy it!

    Many, many years ago, Khan Isperih (the most famos bulgarian ruler known with establishment of the 1st Bulgarian Empire in 680/681)left his home in the far away Tibetan mountains and went in search of fertile land for his people, the proto-Bulgarians. He crossed many mountains and rivers until finally he stopped in the land of the Slavs who met him cordially. Slav women, dressed in white, brought him cups of wine and the tables were piled with food, the fruits of this blessed land.

    But the khan was not happy for he was sick for his family – his mother and his sister Kalina. He sat on the bank of the big river and tears like pearls dropped down his masculine cheeks. His eyes looked in prayer towards the sun and the gods. And then the miracle happened.

    A swift swallow alighted on his shoulder, and Isperih told her of his grief. The swallow flew away to the lands from which the Bulgarians came and told Kalina in a human voice that her brother has a new kingdom, that he grieves about her and sends her greetings.

    Kalina was very happy to hear that and decided to send a message to her brother. She made a nosegay of green plants, tied it with white woolen thread, made some knots on it meaning best regards and sent it back with the swallow.

    The bird flew like thunder and very soon was on the shoulder of Isperih again. But after the long journey, its wing was wounded and its bright red blood had tinted the thread. The khan took the nosegay with joy, read in the knots his sister’s greetings, put the nosegay on his breast and the martenitza shone bright.

    Since that moment, Isperih ordered his people to make a bunch of twisted white and red thread and wear it on their breasts on this day – for health and blessing from heaven.

    This happened on 1st of March and the tradition has remained until this day.

  5. geri

    Christians tell the story that many years ago, when people were merry they dressed in white clothes.
    Thus on an early morning of 1st of March, in the year when Jesus was to come among the people, Virgin Mary, dressed in white, stood in the middle of the room in front of the fire, cut a strip of her skirt and dyed it with her virgin blood. Then she twisted it with another white strip and decorated her breast. She went out on the verandah to meet the first rays of the sun and announce to the universe the expected fertility and to bless it…
    And Jesus Christ was born, consubstantial with God the Father, incarnated by the Holy Ghost and Virgin Mary – the Holy Mother. Since then the twisted white and red is called “martenitza”.
    On the first day of March all Bulgarian women, all children and the domestic animals are decorated with it to be healthy, to be fertile and bring happiness to the family.
    According to Christians living along the river Tonsos, this Bulgarian custom is unique and expresses homage to the Mother of God.

  6. saiede

    Thank you dear sister, i didn’t know nothing about this beautiful festival , my husband is from Romania and he offered to me before in his country this beautiful white flower and told me this is a first flower of mother earth that’s come from snow and is a symbol of spring time and traditionaly we offer this to each other but i didn’t know this history with so much details, i’m from Iran and our New Year in Iran is same time with Shri Mataji’s birthday and we have alot traditions for spring time, but this one was really new for me, and i learned alot, now i have 1 more nice things that i can enjoy that 🙂

  7. Claudia

    I loved learning of the burst of innocence and pureness of the MARTIE. Yes, Spring is a beautiful thought to have !

  8. Tumpa

    .. it was a loved by me very pure desire to share

  9. Elsie

    Martisor is a tradition older than Christianity. It was started so many centuries ago and yet it has significance that it continues in Romania. There is love and beauty evident in the picture of the young girl tying the red and white ribbon on the tree. The ritual announces the coming of spring, when once again the earth comes to life again. The power of Love and Life over death reveals itself in the constant waning of winter and renewal of life in the plants that spring out of the earth. Energy (Kundalini) brings the life force to the plants.

    Wordsworth in his poem writes that the Snowdrop monitors the fleeting years referring to the ongoing cycle. He refers to the white snowdrop announcing the coming of spring.

  10. Adriana Schuster

    Draga Ioana mereu ne trimiti bucurii de la voiatata dragoste vine de acolo catre noi cei din Romania.Iti multumim mereu si acum pentru gandurile tale pentru noi.Si eu va doresc o primavara minunata plina de impliniri in Sahaja Yoga si nu numai tie si tuturor fratilor si nepotilor de acolo .Nu stiu engleza ,doar Baucoup jolie printemps -fleures et solei dans vos ceurs.JSM!Adriana

  11. armaity

    I very much enjoyed reading about the Romanian Martisor Tradition heralding the onset of spring… when Mother Nature literally dons a new garb in form of new tender leaves, announcing a new birth after all that is dead and decaying has passed away… I feel it’s a metaphor for what happens in our own lives ~ that which is useless and which has outlived its importance is dropped as new beginnings take shape.

  12. ann

    Thank you all for such beautiful explanation of Martisor tradition. For me the snowdrop is a symbol of my birth as my Father gave my Mother a large bunch of snowdrops when I was born to thank her for my birth.

    Love and Blessing

  13. dave p.

    This is so beautiful! Thank you so much!


  14. joyce

    Moving,simple,lovely,universal and inspiring ….Martisor renewal of hope and love ….

    Thanks for everything Ioana xoxoxo

  15. Perviz

    What a lovely tradition and story. “Out with the old and in with the new”.

    After getting your self-realization; drop your conditioning,ego and embrace your rebirth into the kingdom of God.

  16. Colleen

    I love all of these different traditions, they come from such a wide range of times and places but generally all mean the same thing, just beautiful!! I have snow drops in my garden and I will be looking at them differently from now on. 🙂
    Thank you

  17. anjali

    Happy spring everyone!Though it has been cold this year, spring brings its own warmth and the day light is longer. the sun is spreading its warmth and nature is unfolding new beginnings, new life. Let this new beginnings be filled with innocence and auspiciousness for all of us around the world.

  18. Colleen

    A beautiful story for every spring!!

  19. Shuy

    Such a beautiful celebrarion! Yay we are making it tomorrow with the Halton + Barrie + Niagra fam and kids 🙂 (this is a big family indeed :D)

  20. Elsie Kuly

    What a lovely tradition, Romanian Martisor Pure love and respect to each other offerings of small gifts. What a beautiful way to greet spring, renewal of the earth I (and I’m sure others) would welcome such a tradition here in our community. Wordsworth’s poems remind me of my school days where we studied these poems. thanks for giving us knowledge of this tradition

  21. paula

    Happy Martisor everyone! What a beautiful tradition rooted in truth and innocence.

  22. Paula

    Thoroughly enjoying not only the article, but the comments that explain some beautiful stories, legends, traditions and experiences.

  23. Jolanta

    beautiful tradition

  24. Helen

    So beautiful! To read, to see the pictures and to listen to the music is so peaceful.

    May resilience among seekers grow and flourish.

    Blessings to all

  25. Rabi Ghosh

    Very much loved and enjoyed reading all about the Romanian Martisor Tradition heralding the onset of spring…
    Also the beautiful poem by Wordsworth. It’s truly joy giving especially when you find its the spring time that announces the birth of greatest incarnation on planet earth. Our most holy Mother Shri Mataji.

    So much to reflect. Thank you for the wonderful articulated article and connect with Romania.

  26. Paula

    I love to read both the article and comments. This is an amazing tradition that we are celebrating here in Burlington at the classes because it is so pure and sweet. I just love ❤️ the symbolism and the eye catching Martisors. They embody such a beautiful tradition. I keep enjoying it! ❤️

  27. NITI

    My regards to you Ioana to bring this article of auspiciousness with amazing stories of Martisor,and the connection with Shri Ganesha,signifies the whole
    World countries they are one and they all celebrate the
    Mighty nature and divine power with their beautiful traditions. Thanks Iovana for reminding and reviving this tradition with your amazing skill of presenting these articles.

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