The “Marti bracelet” or “Marti” is an ancient custom for the beginning of Spring. It is believed it dates back to ancient Greece and it is known all over the Balkans.
The name is derived from the Greek word for the month of March, “Martios”!
From March 1st, it is a tradition in Greece, especially for children, to wear a bracelet made of twisted white and red thread (see photo). The white symbolizes purity, and the red color stands for life and passion.
Children wear the bracelet for the entire month and remove it the last day of March. After taking off the bracelet, they hang it in a fruit tree, so the tree will remain healthy and give many fruits.
However, the custom varies in different areas in Greece. In some regions you can remove the bracelet when you see a swallow returning for spring, so the bird can use the thread to build its nest.
The 1st of March also indicates the beginning of Spring in Greece, and the hope for warm days and a lot of sun. Therefore, especially for young children, wearing the Marti bracelet also means you are protected from the burning sun.
On the 1st of March, do not forget to wish everybody “Kalo Mina” = Enjoy the month of March.