March, 1st is a much anticipated holiday, marking the coming of spring! The day is known as Baba Marta Day. Baba Marta or Granny March is a mythical figure from the Bulgarian folklore, who is believed to put an end to the reign of the winter. She is a feisty old lady whose mood swings very quickly. When she’s happy the weather is fine and when she’s cross it’s snowing. This is why the weather in March is so changeable.
Bulgarians celebrate their centuries-old tradition and exchange martenitsi (small pieces of adornment made of white and red yarn) on this day. The red and white interwoven strings are said to bring health and happiness during the year. Red symbolized life and white – purity. They are worn until the person sees a budding/blossomed tree, a stork or a sparrow. When you see those, you either tie your martenista to that blossomed tree or hide it under a rock. It is said that if you see the stork flying you will have a good year; if the stork is on the ground the year ahead won’t be so fortunate.
Don’t forget to give martenitsi to your loved ones this Sunday