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Baba Marta - A Bulgarian Tradition

Living in Bulgaria most of you will have noticed how many days of the year are celebrated by the Bulgarian's, who are celebrating their national traditions.

A few days ago whilst in my favourite city of Veliko Tarnovo, (the old capital city of Bulgaria) once again I saw signs of yet another tradition, stalls lined along the streets selling the ‘martenitsi' that are pieces of red and white thread symbolizing good health.

The Tradition is celebrated on the 1 March, which is a holiday that is associated with sending off winter and welcoming spring on March 22nd. The name of the holiday is Baba Marta, which in Bulgarian means Grandmother March. The story is that the weather in March can be very unpredictable as are women's mood swings so hence the name of Baba Marta.

All ages will be wearing the Martenitsi over the coming weeks young and old until a stork is spotted flying and then the thread is hung on a fruit tree, if a stork is not spotted they are worn until 1 April.
(Don't miss soon a more in depth article in our lifestyle section).

Some Bulgarian villages hold parties and bring together all the locals who bring along their home made food and drink, to share with each other and a lot of fun is had by all with singing and dancing. Martenitsi are handed out to friends, family and colleagues; wishing good health and future.

It is good to see people have innocent traditions to keep up with, and probably helps keep their feet firmly on the ground. Bringing together friends and family,spending time together, having fun and wishing each other good health.