“Baba Marta” (Grandma Marta )
Happy Baba Marta! n “Baba Marta” (Grandma Marta) is an ancient Bulgarian custom welcoming the forthcoming spring n March 1 st is especially joyful in Bulgaria— with everyone hurrying to buy the red-andwhite yarn ornaments known as martenitsa to give to friends and relatives, and wish them “Happy Baba Marta. ”
The Martenitsa n
The classical martenitsa n The classical "martenitsa" is made out of red and white weaved threads. Sometimes its ends are made into tassels from the same yarn. The tassels are usually decorated with blue beads, small golden coins or colorful threads. n In ancient times "martenitsa" was accepted as a ritual sign an amulet for protection from evil spirits. Nowadays, almost all these functions are forgotten and it symbolises the coming of the spring. But even now Bulgarians believe that they will be healthy during the whole year if they wear "martenitsa" in March.
In modern times…… n The original yarn has now transformed and is accompanied by every possible kind of attractive accessory—from plastic lipstick to colorful Spiderman. Bulgarians like to put many martenitsas on their hands, necks, bags, and even cars, hoping for good fortune.
The myth n The myth says that January and February, who are said to have bad and cold tempers, had a sister named Baba Marta. She symbolizes the month March and is known for her inconsistent character—sometimes shiny, sometimes biting—just like the weather in March. n But despite her volatile and unpredictable nature, Baba Marta is said to bring good health, rich crops, and good fortune to those who wear the martenitsa.
How long you should wear the martenitsa …… n Bulgarians believe you should keep your martenitsa until seeing the first stork or swallow return from their Southern migration. The tradition then requires one to attach the yarn to a branch of a tree in blossom, which is believed to bring happiness and a bountiful harvest. n When the martenitsa is taken off, its special spiritual purposes are over. This marks an important transition - the end of the winter and a tansfer to positive changes.
The first signs of the coming spring blossomed trees and martenitsas
All over the world people meet spring with joy and new hope n The Martenitsa. . . this magical amulet inherited by our predecessors is the first sign of the coming spring. That's why each Bulgarian wears martenitsa on 1 st March, symbolizing one`s faith that hereon everything will be better. People will smile because they believe they have won the benevolence of Baba Marta.