The Bulgarian tradition of the Martenitsa


The Martenitsa is a very unique tradition of Bulgaria

The Martenitsa is a very unique tradition of Bulgaria

Spring is getting closer and some countries have their own way of celebrating the start of the new season. Bulgaria, an eastern European country, has the tradition of creating a Martenitsa. This is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and worn from March 1 until around the end of March or until the first time you see blossoming in the trees.

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.

The Martenitsi are always given as gifts. Tradition dictates that 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 blossoming tree, and then removes the Martenitsa and hangs it on a blossoming tree.

Many other countries, such as Bulgaria,have their own traditions for welcoming spring. In United States we celebrate it in different ways.  One way is on February 2nd ,Groundhog Day. If the groundhog sees his shadow, then we supposedly have 6 more weeks of winter.  But, if he does not, then the spring season will supposedly start when it should.   How do other countries you know celebrate the beginning of spring?

Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martenitsa

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day

 

Submitted by Joel Ceballos

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