Martenitsa (мартеница in Bulgarian) is a piece of adornment (bracelet, brooch), made of white and red yarn and traditionally in the form of two dolls, a boy Pizho (Пижо in Bulgarian) made of white yarn and a girl Penda (Пенда in Bulgarian) made of red yarn. The day celebrating Martenitsa is called Baba Marta Day (Grandma March) and on this day people offer each other marthenitsi for health, prosperity and new beginning starting with the spring. Martenitsa is worn on the first day of March until one sees a stork. Once you see the stork, tie the Martenitsa on a blooming tree as a symbol of fertility. This tradition is related to welcoming the spring, the new life that wakes up after the cold winter, health, and joy.
This is my favorite Bulgarian tradition as it spreads around so much joy of offering Martenitsi to your family and friends and it symbolizes the upcoming spring with its new energy, more sun, warmth, and motivation to go outside and enjoy life!
To immerse yourself in the spirit of Martenitsa, watch this animation produced by Red&White (Червено&Бяло/ Red&White) team. For more information about the video follow Red and White facebook page Червено&Бяло/ Red&White
Happy Baba Marta!