Tsiknopempti or ” Smoke Thursday” is the Thursday during Carnival with Ancient Greek origin, it takes place only in Greece and marks the beginning of the Greek Orthodox fasting period before Easter (lent). This day the observant Greek Orthodox...
The 1st of March is the beginning of Spring in Greece, which means warmer days and a burning sun. The tradition wants that mothers braid bracelets for their children. These bracelets are called “martaki”or “the little March”. They are made of red and white twisted thread and are tied onto the wrists of the children.
The superstition is that the children wear these bracelets so that the sun of early spring doesn’t burn their cheeks. The bracelet is red and white, symbolizing purity, and the red, life and passion.
The bracelets are worn until the end of March. Then they are cut off and tied to a tree branch to be taken by swallows and build their nests.
Others say that they wear the bracelet until Easter day, and burn it with the lamb that is roasted. This is said to be symbolic of Christ’s resurrection, where all our sins burn away and disappear.