Free Sofia Tour's Blog

February 27, 2015
Baba Marta and the Martenitsa

Baba Marta and the Martenitsa – an old Bulgarian tradition

One of the most ancient traditions in Bulgaria is called “Baba Marta” (literally – “Grandma March”). It is a pagan tradition and we celebrate it on 1st of March. The symbol of this tradition is the martenitsa (link to wikipedia).  The martenitsa is a piece of decoration in red and white, which has two main versions. The traditional one consists of two little dolls – Pizho, the male, is red and Penda, the female, is white. You would usually pin this on your clothes. The other version is a bracelet, made of one red and one white thread, which you can put on your hand. The colors of the martenitsa symbolize Bulgarian beliefs: white is for good health and red is for fertility and to scare away the bad spirits. On March 1 you exchange martenitsa with everybody that you know: family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances. When you give them the decoration you wish them everything you want to happen to them during the year. You recieve the martenitsi everyone gives you and you wear them till […]