Besides public holidays, numerous festive occasions are held in Moldova each year. These are "Maria Bieshu Invites" (a week of opera and ballet with the participation of guest performers from entire world), Russian Culture Days, Ukrainian Culture Days and etc.Every spring on March 1 Martsishor, the national Moldovan holiday, is celebrated. On this day people present each other with the traditional flowers, and martsishors (the symbol of serenity and happiness). One of the old Moldovan legend says that once in a fight with the winter witch, that didn't want to give up its place, the beautiful lady Spring cut her finger and few drops of her blood fall on the snow, which melt. Soon on this place grew a snowdrop and in such a way the spring won the winter. The traditional Martsishor musical festival, which began in 1967 and it is held every year in Moldova from the 1st to 10th March. Members of amateur art groups and professional performers from other countries are invited to take part in the festival.
There is also very popular the City Day (October 14) with its theatrical performances and exhibitions along the main street. Rock concerts and festivals are regularly organized in the capital city. For example, each year the rock festival "Ave Beatles" takes place in John Lennon's memory.
Traditions and Folk Art
Moldova boasts a wealth of traditions in folk art, especially the brightly colored and original art of the potters, the carpet-makers, the weavers, and the stone and wood carvers . One of the most ancient crafts is pottery. In the past earthenware pots, jugs, plates, and bowls were used in everyday life. Folk ceramics are of high quality, varied in shape, decorated with a wide variety of patterns and many different colors. Carpet making was widespread because of an ancient tradition whereby a bride had to offer carpets made by her own hand as her dowry. The Moldovan carpet is smooth, without pile, of the same type of weave as linen.
Celebrations and feasts are always held in the "casa mare" (the living room), the most beautiful room in the Moldovan house. In keeping with an age-old tradition, a Moldovan will set up his "casa mare" and invite over his relatives, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. The "casa mare" is not just a living room; it's also a memorial to the family clan. The walls are decorated with photographs of tile parents, children, and grandchildren and with embroidered homespun towels .
Wedding ceremonies today are held at "casa mare" or House of happiness. The modern ceremony includes the old wedding custom of bowing to the parents as a token of gratitude and respect. The singing, dancing and merry-making continues until daybreak. At dawn everyone sits down for a minute and the bride is given a child to hold in her arms. According to tradition, the bride will then be sure to have a home full of children. The young husband then leads her to the threshold of their house. But before they step over the threshold the couple is showered with grain - a sign of prosperity.
A Moldovan maxim says: "The person who has failed to build a home, to raise a son, to dig a well and to plant a tree has wasted his life". That's why the Moldovan villages are so green, the houses are so beautiful and you can see wells along the streets.
As a rule, Moldovans dig wells in the street, on a track or in the field, and not in the yard. The purpose is to provide water for anyone to quench his thirst.