March 01, 2012

Happy March!

Chestita Baba Marta -- happy Grandma March day!

Bulgarians celebrate March 1st as "Grandma March Day" with best wishes for good health and joy as spring approaches .

Grandma March Day is a holiday celebrated in Bulgaria (and Romania). It is celebrated on the first of March. Martenitsa are worn on that day to symbolize warmer weather and well being. Old Bulgarians call it Birch Month, because it was around the time when birch trees start to grow leaves and give sap. There is a large amount of folklore connected with Grandma March. 
Martenitsa (Bulgarian: мартеница /mar.tɛ.ni.ʦa/, plural мартеници, martenitsi) is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and worn from March 1st until the 22nd March (or the first time an individual sees a stork, swallow or budding tree). 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.

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