grandmother marta

Today, March 1, we celebrate Baba Marta. The holiday is a symbol of spring and brings a wish for health and fertility at the beginning of the new cycle in nature. The tradition is related to ancient pagan history from the Balkan Peninsula, related to all agricultural nature cults. Some of the most specific features of the March XNUMXst rite, and especially the tying of the twisted white and red woolen threads, are the fruit of a centuries-old tradition that was inherent in Thracian (Paleo-Balkan) and Hellenic customs.

A legend that arose in the 30s connects the appearance of the martenitsa with the proto-Bulgarians.

The custom of tying Martenitsa (twisted white and red woolen threads) is known in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Albania, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. In Romania, martenitsa are tied on the hands only of women and small children, and men can only wear martenitsa in a hidden place, for example in the shoe. In Greece, martenitsi are tied only on children's hands. In Bulgaria, martenitsi are also tied to young animals and trees, also to men.

The oldest woman must clean the house mainly before sunrise, take out and spread a red fabric outside - a tablecloth, a mat, a belt or an apron. It is believed that this will please Baba Marta, and cause her favor towards the house and its inhabitants. Children, maidens and young brides are tied with a twisted white and red woolen thread - Martenitsa - most often on the arm. Young people should definitely go outside "so that Baba Marta can see them and be happy", and old women should not go outside because "they will anger Baba Marta".


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