The tradition of Martis (derived from the Greek word for March) dates back to Ancient Greek times, as a way to usher in the transition from winter to spring. On March 1st, it is said that if you tie a bracelet of red and white string around your wrist, it will protect your cheeks from burning in the sun. The white string represents purity and the red for the color of sun kissed cheeks. Our Martis, made in Greece by Makris, is adorned with an evil eye bead to bring the wearer good luck.
So you put the Martis on at the beginning of March, when do you take it off? The answer is that it is different throughout Greece. In some regions, they're taken off at the first sign of spring, once the first flowers begin to bloom or at the first sight of birds returning from their winter migration. They then tie them around the branch of a fruit tree for birds to use to help build their nests. In other parts of Greece, they wait until the end of May, when they're thrown into the fires used to burn the floral May wreaths that once adorned their homes and businesses.
No matter how long you choose to wear your Martis, don’t forget your SPF at home.