National Days & Customs

Happy Baba Marta – Честита Баба Марта

Baba Marta / Баба Марта = Grandma Spring Baba Marta (Баба Марта) Tradition According to Bulgarian folklore, Spring starts on the 1st March, just as the Meteorological calendar does also.  On this…

Baba Marta / Баба Марта = Grandma Spring

Baba Marta (Баба Марта) Tradition

According to Bulgarian folklore, Spring starts on the 1st March, just as the Meteorological calendar does also. 

On this day (1st March) Bulgarian citizens take part in a tradition to welcome Spring and exchange good wishes, doing so by giving each other ‘martenitsi’ / ‘мартеница’

Martenitsi / мартеница come in different forms, including;

  • Small dolls made from red and white thread called Pizho and Penda (Пижо и Пенда) 
  • Red and White yarn tassels
  • Red and white interwoven string bracelets
Baba Marta Martenitsa Bracelets and Dolls

It’s believed that the red stands for life/birth (or good health) and white stands for a new / on clear grounds (or wisdom) and when entwined together, they stand for newborn, rebirth, and a new beginning.

Traditionally, martenitsi / мартеница are handed out to friends and family and according to Bulgarian Folklore, are said to bring health, wealth, and good luck. The Martenitsa is worn throughout March until the wearer sees a stork or blossoming tree which are symbols of warmer weather and the arrival of spring. When the Martenitsa is removed, it is common to then place the Martenitsa on to a blossoming tree.

Baba Marta (Баба Марта) History

The celebration of Baba Marta (Баба Марта) is an ancient Bulgarian tradition celebrated in Bulgaria and by Bulgarians around the world. Baba Marta, also known as ‘Grandma March’ is celebrated every year on the 1st of March.  

There are many tales and folklore around Baba Marta and the character of Baba Marta herself. One of these tales goes as follows;

Baba Marta (Grandma March) is a charming old lady that chases away the cold February. Baba Marta stands for life and invites the sun, flowers, and birds back for the Spring, a season of life. 

Whenever the weather turns cold and windy in Spring, it’s believed that Baba Marta is unhappy and the Martenitsas are said to relax Baba Marta’s temper.

Chestita Baba Marta  

Chestita Baba Marta (Happy Baba Marta) from all of us here at Suits Me HQ.

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