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    MUSICIANS FROM 15 COUNTRIES TO TAKE PART IN THE MARTISOR 2004 FESTIVAL IN MOLDOVA

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    CHISINAU, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - Music companies and singers from 15 countries will perform at the 38th International Martisor 2004 Music Festival in Moldova, March 1-10.

    There will be 79 concerts during the festival, a spokesman for the Moldovan Ministry of Culture said. Well-known performers from Russia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, the United States, Ukraine and other countries will perform.

    For the first time, the Moldovan Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts will organize a student martisor as part of the festival.

    Martisor is a Moldovan national holiday that is celebrated on March 1. On this day, people give each other flowers and martisors (red and white threads woven together).

    In an ancient Moldovan legend, during a war between winter and spring, winter refused to retreat. Spring cut her finger, and some drops of blood fell on white snow, which immediately melted. Thus, spring was victorious over winter.

    Since 1967, the traditional Martisor music festival has been held on March 1-10. Both amateur and professional companies, musicians and singers are invited to the festival.

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