Happy Baba Marta to you all!
Guess you don’t know what I’m greeting you for, unless you have some Bulgarian friends 🙂
Today is March 1. and Bulgarians celebrate Baba (Grandma) Marta. Marta is the sister of Janyary and February. January was the big brother bringing heavy winter snow and cold. February was the small brother competing with January. Marta, their sister was bringing the Spring year after year and putting the boy’s games to an end for a time being at least.
Now there are many legends on how the Martenitsa (an amulet made of entwined red and white wool threads) was born.
One of the oldest legends says that Khan Asparuh received a precious gift from his sister Huba, who was far far away in the lands of the Old Bulgaria. She sent him tiny flower bunch tied to the leg of a swallow. It was tied with a white woolen thread. Until the swallow reached the Bulgarian lands on the Danube river, the thread has made the bird’s leg bleed. It arrived to Khan Asparuh on the first day of March. It was since that Bulgarians wear on their clothing or tied around the wrist the Martenitsa – entwined red and white thread.
Pijo & Penda are husband and wife also made of wool and they are either worn pinned to the clothing or hang in the house. I find it quite symbolic that they’re connected through their heads by the entwined rope and hang together.
The Martenitsa is amulet that safeguards the people’s health and happiness. If you hang one in the house, it will protect it and the people who live there.
So my dear friends, may you be white and red, healthy and happy and may your house be safe!
Happy Baba Marta!