March 1st is a traditional Bulgarian holiday. The greeting is “Chestita Baba Marta!” or Happy Grandmother March! Baba Marta is a mythical figure who brings the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
A martinitsa is a red and white wool thread decoration pinned on the lapel or worn as a bracelet, a token of health and well-being in anticipation of spring. There are traditional yarn dolls, a boy called Pizho and a girl called Penda.
The red threads drive away evil while the white threads are for longevity and eternity. Blue wool or blue beads may be added for protection from the evil eye, or small coins to wish for wealth. A martinitsa is worn until fruit trees bloom or one sees a stork; then the decoration may be hung on a bush or tree.
We offer red and white cord similar to the above - $2 per yard -- ask if you are interested in making your own martinitsas.