"Martenitsi" are red and white coloured wristbands, or figurines, that symbolise health and happiness. They are given away to friends and family. People are supposed to take off their martenitsi when they see the first signs that spring has already come - a blooming tree or a stork. When the martenitsa is taken off some tie it to a tree - one that they'd like to be especially fruitful. Others place it under a rock and based on what they find there the next morning guess what kind of a year this one would be. The martenitsa now comes in all shapes and sizes - from Guiness-worth giant building packages to two tiny simple strings gently placed on a newborn's arm. Children usually compete who will get the most and often walk around more ornate than a Christmas tree. However, it always bears the same meaning -
a lucky charm against the evil spirits of the world, a token for health and a sign of appreciation.