Spring is officially in full swing, and in Greece this season is marked with many special customs and traditions. One of the most famous of these is Martis, which dates all the way back to the ancient times in Greece. A special way to mark the Martis season is by wearing a beautiful Martis bracelet to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather. The Martis bracelet is a reminder of history, culture, and the wonderful spring days ahead!
The history of Martis
The word “Martis” comes from the Greek word for March, and can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece. Back in those days, the ancient Greeks worshiped a pantheon of different gods. These gods were designated to various aspects of everyday life and actions. The goddess Demeter was thought to bring good harvest and controlled the fertility of the earth. According to the Martis legend, the ancient Greeks performed a ritual to please the goddess Demeter. They wore threads around their wrists and feet during this ritual. These threads were called “kroki” and evolved into what we know today as the Martis bracelet. The bracelet protected the wearer from illness and the strong spring sun.
The modern Martis bracelet
The Martis bracelet is a marker of the spring season in modern Greece. There are several traditions that go along with it, as well. A modern Martis bracelet is made from red and white thread, sometimes with an an “evil eye” bead looped in to bring the wearer luck. Most commonly, the Martis bracelet is worn from March 1st until March 31st in Greece. In some regions, Greeks wear their bracelets until the first sign of spring, or even until the end of May. When you take the bracelet off, the traditions says to tie it to a blossoming tree. This encourages the tree to bloom, as well as it invites birds to come and nest in the tree. These traditions call back to the ancient ones, in which the Greeks asked Demeter for a healthy and bountiful harvest.
Where to get a Martis bracelet
Of course, the best place to buy a Martis bracelet is in Greece! These handmade pieces of jewelry are simple, but yet great reminders of your trip to this beautiful and magical country. However, there are several places online where you can buy a Martis bracelet to take part in this spring tradition, wherever you are. Etsy is an online shop that sells handmade goods and has many options for Martis bracelets. Most of the bracelets are made in and shipped from Greece, so you know they are the real deal. You can also buy a Martis bracelet from Hellenic Aesthetic and Doromu, two online shops that specialize in Greek culture and products. You don’t have to be Greek to wear a Martis bracelet and take part in this fun, springtime tradition. Wear your bracelet proudly and welcome spring in with a splash of style and color!