Happy Baba Marta!

Today has been filled with our, thus far, favorite Bulgarian tradition.  "Baba Marta" Day (Grandma March Day) is on the first day of March, and everyone gives you a Martenitsa.

What is a Martenitsa, you ask?

Here are just a few...

You can, of course, read the official description of this Bulgarian holiday, here; however, this is what we've learned about it in the last 12 hours:
  • The red and white of the Martenitsa represent good health (a.k.a. if you're skin is white and your cheeks are red, you're healthy!).
  • When someone ties these on your arm, they wish you all good things: health, life, happiness, love, good luck, etc.  And, you're supposed to wish something as they're tying it, and be finished with your wish by the time they're done with the knot.
  • Married people are supposed to wear them on their right side.  Single people are to wear them on the left.
  • You are technically supposed to only take them off when you first see a stork or a budding bush.  But, since our arms were pretty full, we asked and our friends told us we could just wear our favorites.
  • In general, it's an exchange; I give you one, you give me one.  However, even if you don't have a Martenitsa to give, you're always given one!
  • This might be the happiest we've seen people in a while!  Spring is on its way, and you can see it in their eyes when they give you the Martenitsa.

We'd love to start this tradition in the US.  Wouldn't you?  We do love a good winter, but spring is looking brighter than ever this year; especially with our Martenitsi!

Happy Spring!!