CULTURE+ | Happy 1st of March!

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Hello from ICDETv and Happy 1st of March! On the 1st of March Bulgarian people celebrate a centuries-old traditional holiday called the day of Baba Marta (in English Grandma March), related to welcoming the approaching spring. On that day and a few days afterwards, Bulgarians exchange and wear the so called "Martenitsas" – red and white twisted threads, symbolising health and happiness, a lucky charm against evil spirits. The Martnitsas are given away to friends, family and colleagues and are worn around the wrist or on clothes. In some villages in the mountains people decorate their houses and domestic animals.


Martenitsa is made of twined red and white threads - woolen, silk, or cotton. The white is a symbol of strength, purity and happiness. The red is associated with health, blood, conceiving and fertility. Martenitsa is also a symbol of Mother Nature. During early spring nature revives and seems full of hopes and expectations. According to this interpretation, the white symbolises the purity of the melting white snow and the red symbolises the setting of the sun which becomes more and more intense as spring progresses. These two natural resources are the source of life. White and red threads are also associated with the male and female beginnings. The most typical Martenitsa represents two small dolls, known as Pizho and Penda. Pizho is the male doll, usually in white color. Penda is the female doll, usually in red color and distinguished by her skirt. Martenitsas come in a variety of shapes and sizes: bracelets, necklaces, tassels, pompons and balls. Special for the occasion, we organized a ''Martenitsa Workshop'' for our volunteers and we taught them how to make martenitsas on themselves. Enjoy the positive energy in this video clip and stay tuned for more new things! :)