Mărţişor is the traditional celebration of the beginning of the spring in Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria on 1 March. The day's name is the diminutive of March (in Romanian Martie), and thus means something like "little" or "dear March".
Nowadays, men offer women a talisman object also called Mărţişor, consisting of a jewel or a small decoration like a flower, an animal or a heart, tied to a red and white string.
However, giving a little nickel tied to a red and white string is an old custom and was originally designated for both men and women.
It was believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be powerful and healthy for the year to come.
The decoration is a symbol of the coming spring. A woman wears it pinned to her blouse on this day and up to two weeks after. Occasionally, women also give such gifts to men.
In some parts of Romania such as Moldova or Bucovina the symbol of spring was a gold or silver medal which was worn around the neck. After wearing the coin for twelve days, they bought sweet cheese with the medal, because it was believed that their faces would remain beautiful and white the entire year.