Spring is (almost) in the air in Greece, and Greeks will soon begin preparations to welcome the new season by celebrating an ancient annual custom.
The tradition of “Martis” entails that everyone, adorns themselves with red and white bracelets made from thread, from March 1 until the last day of the month.The ancient tradition of Martis dates back to the cults of Demeter and Persephone, which began thousands of years ago in ancient Greece. Eleusis was the ancient city where the ancients performed secret rites for the cult.
As a form of initiation into the cult, which was one of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the faithful wore a bracelet called a “kroki” around both their right hand and left ankle.
Amazingly, the ancient tradition still lives on today in modern Greece. However, there are certain rules that one must abide by when creating and wearing the symbolic bracelet which celebrates the arrival of Spring.
Most importantly, the bracelet must be woven on the last day of February and it must be made of white and red thread. The white thread of the bracelet symbolizes purity while the red represents life and passion.
In ancient times, people believed that the bracelet helped protect the person from diseases, as well as the strong rays of the spring sun during the month of March.