NEW YORK – Designer Irene Erika (Stavrinoudis Gloumis) draws inspiration from her Greek heritage to create unique handmade designs in jewelry, handbags, home decor, lambades (Easter candles), and her unique version of the traditional red and white bracelets worn in the month of March. Her `Marti' March Bracelets are now available in family bundles and infant sizes online.
According to tradition, the bracelets are worn for the entire month of March for good luck or more specifically to protect people, youngsters especially, from getting sunburn during March which is considered the first month of spring in Greece. The tradition of wearing the Martis or Martaki bracelet is thought to go back to ancient Roman times when a red thread was tied around the right wrist and right ankle to ward off evil spirits while some sources suggest it goes even further back into antiquity and is connected to the Eleusinian mysteries.
The red and white threads are woven together and the bracelet is worn until it drops off on its own, or until the wearer sees the first migratory stork or swallow return or the first blossoming tree of the season. The bracelet is then removed and tied to a branch of a fruit tree for good luck and to ensure a good harvest. The bracelets are thought to work best when given as a gift.
Today, the evil eye symbol is often added to the design for extra protection, like many of the Marti bracelets designed by Irene Erika. Crosses, adorable lady bug charms and lucky horseshoes also decorate the various options handmade by Irene Erika. Special options for moms, yiayias, and godmothers are also available.
In a previous interview with The National Herald, Irene Erika said, “My inspiration comes from my travels and my Greek heritage.”
She told TNH, “Both of my parents were born in Chios and I have been blessed to have spent almost every summer there. Greece is beautiful and magical in the summer. I also do love it in the winter as well, Athens is amazing. Any area that you are in, you have the Acropolis within view. It always gives me goose bumps and I feel a great connection to my heritage. We are very lucky to be from a beautiful place full of art history!”
Free USA shipping is also available for all orders over $50 USD and free Standard International shipping for all orders over $100 USD.
Irene Erika's Marti bracelets are available online: https://www.ireneerika.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html.