Martenitsa in Bulgaria Date in the current year: March 1, 2016

Martenitsa in Bulgaria March 1 is the first day of the spring in Bulgaria. People celebrate Martenitsa and welcome the upcoming spring.

The name of the festival relates to Baba Marta, that means grandmother March. According to the pagan belief, Baba Marta is an old woman, whose mood changes very quickly, just like weather in March, that is why people wear red and white colors to ask Baba Marta for mercy.

Wearing symbolic martenitsa is a very popular Bulgarian tradition. Women wear Pendas, a female doll with red predominant color, and men wear Pizhos, a male doll predominantly white. The two dolls are distinguished not only by color, but also by a skirt, that a female doll has. The martenitsa symbolizes new life, fertility, conception and spring. White and red colors are interpreted as symbols of purity and life.

According to the tradition, martenitsas are never bought for oneself. They are given to relatives or people who you love. Martenitsa should be worn till one sees a blossoming tree, where it's left on the branch, or a stork. It means that Baba Marta is in a good mood.

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