Ok, so on March the 1st there’s a very old romanian celebration/tradition called Martisor ( the name is basically a diminutive of March/Martie)and women all over the country get this red and white string and they have to pin it to their clothes, somewhere close to their heart.
Later edit (because someone asked what it symbolizes) There are some legends surrounding the red and white string: one of them is about Spring protecting a snowdrop from the cold of winter and hurting her hands in the process, other one is about a knight saving the Sun ( the Sun here is a beautiful girl ) from an evil dragon but historically I guess it comes from the Romans who were celebrating New Year on the first day of Spring ( this was also the month of the god of war which sorta explains the red ). Thracians also associated the color red with spring and the white with winter so the string can be associated with the two seasons.
It’s from the Bulgars. The Bulgars lived in Romania during a large part of the time they had a big empire. That is why the martisors (or martenitsas as they are called now) are still worn during march in Romania.
you’re kidding, right? Bulgars lived in Romania, and Romanians in Bulgaria. according to Wikipedia, “ The tradition is authentic in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians and Aromanians. Alike though not identical customs can be found in Bulgaria (see Martenitsa), while similar ones exist in Albania, Greece and Italy.”
from Martenitsa’s page:
The tradition is related to the ancient pagan history of Balkan Peninsula and to all agricultural cults of nature. Some of the specific features of the ritual and especially tying the twisted white and red woolen thread, are a result of centuries-old tradition and suggest Thracian (paleo-Balkan) Hellenic or even Roman origin.
Happy Martenitsa, or whatever! :)