Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baba Marta

Baba Marta (Bulgarian: Баба Марта, Granny March) is the name of a mythical figure, a grumpy old lady whose mood swings very rapidly. Baba Marta is a Bulgarian tradition related to welcoming the upcoming spring (a similar tradition is held in Romania). According to the Bulgarian folklore, March marks the beginning of the springtime. Therefore, the first day of March is a traditional holiday associated with the end of the cold winter and the beginning of the spring. On that day we exchange 'Martenitsi' (Bulgarian: Мартеници) and wear them from first of March until around the end of March - until we see a stork, a swallow or a budding tree :o)

'Martenitsi' are red and white coloured bands or figures that symbolise health and happiness, a lucky charm against evil spirits. They are given away to friends and family and are worn around the wrist or on the clothes.

Martenitsi by Pingo - The Pink Penguin

The ritual of taking off the martenitsa is different in different parts of Bulgaria. Most people would tie their martenitsa on a branch of a fruit tree, thus giving the tree health and luck, which the person wearing the martenitsa has enjoyed himself while wearing it. Others would put the martenitsa under a stone and based on the kind of creature (usually insect) they find there on the next morning guess what kind of year this one would be. If the creature is a larva or a worm, the coming year will be healthy and full of success. The same luck is associated with an ant, but that person will have to work very hard to reach success. If it is a spider, than the person may not enjoy luck, health or personal success.

Bracelet free crochet pattern by Pingo - The Pink Penguin

You can find the free crochet pattern for this gorgeous bracelet at Craftsy and Ravelry. No matter if you make it in red and white, or any other color combination, it will be a gentle jewelry for any occasion.

Happy crocheting :o)

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