For the second consecutive year, our team in Romania celebrated the beginning of spring with the "Martisor" Fair. This year, besides their talented colleagues (who brought to the fair delicate hand-made soaps and beautiful crochet brooches), they had a special guest - Ana and the Kids NGO who brought different products made or painted by the kids and volunteers of the association, suitable as gifts on different occasions.
The money collected from selling the kids crafts and from donations, both from employees and on the behalf of Alvogen Romania, went to support the NGO's day-to-day activity (prevention of family and school abandonment through educational programs, social, medical and legal assistance, recreational and social activities).
Back to the Martisor tradition (celebrated on 1st of March in countries from CEE like Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Macedonia), this represents silky red-white threads tied into a bow to which a small trinket is attached that are offered to (female) family members, friends and colleagues to show friendship, respect or admiration. It is believed that the person who wears the red and white string would enjoy a prosperous and healthy year.
The legend says that once upon a time the sun was caught by a dragon and a brave young man decided to fight the dragon to release the sun. The sun was released and so the spring came. But our hero was hurt during the fight and his red blood mixed with the white snow giving the red & white origin of the string we, in Romania, call "martisor" (coming from martie=march), the symbol of the spring.
Last but not least, a great news is that starting this year, UNESCO added Martisor to its ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’ list*.