Friday, February 27, 2009
The day of Baba Marta (Grandmother March) falls on the first of the month. On or before Baba Marta, Bulgarian people give each other martenitsa, or martenka, which are red and white tassles sold by vendors in shops and on the street or may be hand made. The colors of the martenitsa, whose symbolism comes from an old Bulgarian tale, represent blood and snow. Bulgarians are supposed to attach the martenitsa to their persons or clothing. Traditionally, the martenitsa were not removed until the first stork returned from migration to ensure prosperity and good health, but today this rule is bent or ignored with respect to modern times.