Well, they're back! So I set out to figure it out this year. It started when Maria's competition was called the First of March Cup and it is to be held on the second. Sounded fishy to me so I asked and yes March 1st is a holiday. Below is the official entry I found on the Internet.
The first day of March is the celebration of MARTISOR (mar-tsi-shor), a day when gifts of small objects--plants, shells, flowers, animals, snowmen or tools--as well as a red and white ribbon symbolizing life and purity--are given to young girls and women. The little gift brings good luck, it is said, during the month of March and throughout the year ahead. Overall, Martisor signifies the end of winter and the arrival of spring.
Romanians are very big on "luck". Now I don't really do luck, but the red and white reminds me of Jesus' sinless life and His blood that covers my sin. Sounds much better to me!