ЧЕСТИТА БАБА МАРТА – Happy Baba Marta to everyone!
The first of March is the day of “Baba Marta” in Bulgaria marking the end of Winter. On this day, people give each other the so called “martenitsi”, small red and white thread dolls (called Pizho and Penda (Пижо и Пенда), interwoven string bracelets – sometimes with other little trinkets attached wishing a “ЧЕСТИТА БАБА МАРТА” – “Happy Grandma March”. They are worn for health, good luck and wealth and are traditionally symbolizing the beginning of Spring. So once one sees real “proof” of Spring, such as the first stork, a swallow or a blossoming tree, one returns the “martenitsa” to nature by tieing them to a blossoming bush or tree. While doing so one wishes the person who gave the “martenitsa” and oneself something nice.