Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Baba Marta - bringing in the spring

Yesterday as we drove back into our neighborhood from the airport, we noticed red and white tassels hanging from the cab driver's mirror. We saw them swinging from William's (our neighborhood guard dog) neck. I saw them in a huge rack at the store, and pinned to the lapels of the people I saw on the way to the store.

Here in Bulgaria, we are celebrating Baba Marta - the old grandmother of spring. Everyone is in red and white - bracelets on wrists, strings hanging from briefcases, little red and white dolls pinned to jackets. Some of my students are even dressed fully in red and white - sweaters, frilly white shirts, long stockings.

Ina, one of my seniors, told me today that she and her friends have annual contests for who can wear the most red and white bracelets. Friends and family members give them to each other, so if they decide to wear them all, they show they are very loved. Ina also told me that traditionally, people cut off the bracelets when they see their first stork of the spring. Of course, we might not see any here in Sofia, so she said we could also cut them off when spring arrives - "in another week or two."

I got the photo above from an article explaining the tradition at the Balkan Traveller's Website. See more photos and read all about it at: http://www.balkantravellers.com/en/read/article/413

1 comment:

Tanya said...

If wearing red and white brings on the spring, then I'm all about it! Without having read your blog, I put on a red and white rather abstract jacket this morning.