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Marti, Celebrating the First Day of Spring

The 1st of March is the beginning of Spring in Greece, which brings with it the hope for warm days and lots of sunshine; it also indicates summer is around the corner!  

To help celebrate, Greeks have an ancient custom called “Marti,” which dates back to ancient Greece and it is well known all over the country.

Insights Greece - Marti, Celebrating the First Day of Spring

The name is derived from the Greek word for the month of March, “Martios.” From March 1st, it is a tradition, especially for children, to wear a bracelet made of twisted white and red thread, with white symbolising purity, and red representing life and love.

Children wear the bracelet for the entire month and remove it on the last day of March. After taking off the bracelet, they hang it in a fruit tree, so the tree will remain healthy and flourish.

In several regions in Greece, at the end of the month, the bracelet is placed on rose bushes. In other regions, the bracelet is wrapped around pitchers in order to protect the water from the sun and to keep it cold. Others tie the bracelet around a tree so that it can fructify.

On the 1st day of each month, people in Greece also wish everyone “Kalo Mina”, which means enjoy the month ahead! 


The Athens Guide

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