Let's be honest, this is my favorite Bulgarian tradition. I am convinced that this is one of the things that must to introduce us to the world. These are my martenitsi this year. Add a little story about my favorite tradition.
That's the hand of each Bulgarian of on March 1st and fused it until you see a stork.
Martenitsa with snowdrop:
Martenitsa with tulip:
Martenitsa with chili pepper:
Martenitsa with coin:
History of the Martenitsa:
Martenitsa (Bulgarian: мартеница,) is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and worn from March 1 until around the end of March (or the first time an individual sees a stork, swallow, or budding tree). The name of the holiday is Baba Marta. "Baba" (баба) is the Bulgarian word for "grandmother" and Mart (март) is the Bulgarian word for the month of March. Baba Marta is a Bulgarian tradition related to welcoming the upcoming spring. The month of March, according to Bulgarian folklore, marks the beginning of springtime. Therefore, the first day of March is a traditional holiday associated with sending off winter and welcoming spring.
The red and white woven threads symbolize the wish for good health. They are the heralds of the coming of spring in Bulgaria and life in general. While white as a color symbolizes purity, red is a symbol of life and passion, thus some ethnologists have proposed that, in its very origins, the custom might have reminded people of the constant cycle of life and death, the balance of good and evil, and of the sorrow and happiness in human life.
Martenitsi are always given as gifts. People never buy martenitsi for themselves. They are given to loved ones, friends, and those people to whom one feels close. They are worn on clothing, or around the wrist or neck, until the wearer sees a stork or swallow returning from migration, or a blossoming tree, and then removes the Martenitsa and hangs it on a blossoming tree.