Baba Marta

March 1, 2008

MartenichkaHappy Granny Marta’s Day!

Bulgarian tradition celebrates the 1st of March as Granny Marta’s Day. On that day we believe the winter steps away and the new boosting spring life starts. Everyone gets a decoration, made of white and red thread – either as a bracelet around the left wrist or an ornament to pin on the lapel, mainly pom-poms or the small figurines of a boy and a girl in something like the traditional Bulgarian costumes.

The legend says that when one of the first Bulgarian khans (somewhere in the 8th-9th century) went to war, he sent home pieces of white and red threads with a swallow to tell his folks at home that he was victorious and alive and sound.

We believe the red and white represents health and new life and this is what we wish when we make (or buy) and present our “martenichka” to the people we love and cherish. We wear them until we see the first swallow or stork, or the first fruit tree in bloom. And then we either tie them to the twigg of the tree or put it under a stone.

The tradition comes from pagan times. For all those centuries it was kept alive. If you take a walk you can see hundreds of martenichkas everywhere. And here are the ones I got from my friends today:)



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