Baba Marta is a mythical character in Bulgarian folklore. The personified months are January, February and March. January and February are presented as brothers with spicy characters-Old Sechko and Young Sechko.

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Baba Marta is a
mythical
character in
Bulgarian folklore.
The personified
months are January,
February and March.
January and February
are presented as
brothers with spicy
characters-Old
Sechko and Young
Sechko. Baba Marta
is considered their
sister who is
sometimes smiling
and benevolent, but
sometimes
unpredictably evil.
Baba Marta is actually an image of the spring-summer
sun. For that reason in some areas people called March
"letnik" (from the Bulgarian word for summer) and
considered this month the beginning of summer in the old
days because they divide the year only into two seasons winter and summer.
ORIGIN
The custom of tying a martenitsa (twisted
white and red woolen threads) on March 1,
comes from the ancient Bulgarians whose
leaders (called Khans) used to bound
martenitsa-s on their tribesmen in order to
have fighting force, health and longevity.
Today, the holiday is known in Bulgaria, and
has spread in Romania, Greece, Macedonia
and Serbia.
On March 1, everyone
adorns a martenitsa-s on a
prominent place: clothing,
wrists, in hair and even
decorate their homes.
Martenitza-s are also hung
on fruit trees and on cattle in
the farm - for a good harvest
and fertility for the coming
year.
Old Bulgarians believed that
there was an evil force in nature
called the "badness", which also
woke up in spring and in the folk
beliefs first of March marks the
beginning of spring.
Martenitza was believed that
possessed magical power to
prevent from the "badness"
and also from disease and
evil eye.
Early in the morning
housewives hung washed
clothes in front of their
homes and put red aprons,
yarn, rugs or red yarn
twisted. They kept the
house from evil - disease
and poverty. As seen them
Grandma Martha would
laugh and sun would
appear.
Red symbolizes
the female
strength
, health It is a sign of
blood,
conception and
birth.
Originally
females
wedding dresses
are red.
The white color of
martenitsa initially
symbolizes
masculinity,
strength.
Later, under the
influence of
Christian
mythology
denotes virginity
and chastity white is the color
of Christ.
Martenitsas should be twisted as girls are twisted
around the lads.
Brides wear martenitsas on the
right, girls –on the left.
Lads wear them with
combed edges and mature
men – cut to the knot, in
order not to behave
irresponsibly at gatherings.
Martenitsas are removed only when you
see the first stork or swallow.
The belief is that if you see
a stork in flight, everything
in the year will go well as if "flying". And if the
stork has landed, you will
be sleepy and lazy next
summer. So wish in such a
moment was "Stork fly
and I fly."
Martenitsas are hung
on a blooming or
green tree, or put
under a rock.
The next day guesses
are made for people’s
health according to
creatures which are
there. Therefore
martenitsa is also
known as a fortune
teller.
The first
martenitsa-s
for adornment
of people and
animals were
just twisted red
and white
threads with no
additives to it.
In some areas
on the strings a
gold or silver
coin and a blue
bead were tied.
The folk tradition Is vital and
strong. Now it brings a lot of
joy and beauty to our people, it
loads with energy and hope,
gives love and protection for
young and old.
One of the most
characteristic type of
martenitsa is of a male
and female figure,
coupled with twisted red
and white thread and
named in the ancient
Bulgarian names Pijo
and Penda.
TRADIOTIONAL BULGARIAN CELEBRATION
Be white and red, Rosy and
smiling.

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