Laughing Dog Arts

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baba Marta

Today is the first day of March, and there are a number of holidays celebrated around the world today, many of which have to do with the coming of spring.
In Bulgaria, today is Baba Marta, or "Grandmother March Day." Baba Marta is a mythical figure, a temperamental old lady with big mood swings that correlate with the Bulgarian climate. When she's happy, she brings warm weather. When she's angry, the winter frost persists. So today, people in Bulgaria go around greeting each other "Chestita Baba Marta" — which means "Happy Grandmother March" — hoping that the old lady will be cheerful and bring warm weather and sunshine. And today in Bulgaria, people wear martenitsi. The martenitsa is a red and white brooch-like adornment made of yarn. It is supposed to make Baba Marta have mercy on the wearers and allow them be happy, so that they may all welcome the coming spring as soon as possible.
I copied these pictures off the web, and the story from today's Writer's Almanac. Since I have posted information about my Bulgarian heritage in past posts I thought this would be a suitable subject for today.

Be well.
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beadbabe49 said...

Lovely photo and tribute to gracie...and bless you for respecting her nature and letting her be who she was...

Fox On The Run Meanderings... said...

Happy March Day to you, too, Jan! Cute little martenitsa, but I'd like to see your version. Think it would look a little different...and that red would lean a little more to the rust side of the color wheel. Don't know that I'd wear one, but it would sure make a cute bookmark.

April said...

This was actually me, Jan. Get confused as to who I am when I'm commenting! :0D

audrey said...

How very interesting. I have seen these little yarn dolls but I had no idea of their significance. Thanks, Jan. See? I told you I'm learning new things from you.
I am 1/2 Czechoslovakian - is Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)anywhere near Bulgaria? I need to look at a map.
Happy March, Jan !!!
♥ audrey

audrey said...

I had to look. They aren't side by side, but they are in the same vicinity. They probably have similar customs.
♥ audrey

Marie S said...

Happy Baba Marta, Jan.
Thank you so much for coming over.

I love Daryl (my kid with his monster). He may indeed need a bit of shut eye. His eyes are very red rimmed.
I am so glad I did put my name in there. I love this little kid and his monster.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

There is an Italian legend similar to this; I wish mom was alive to remember the name. It is on the tip of my tongue, but obviously buried deep in the grey matter!
I love old world traditions....they add a special quality to life that is lost in the present culture....