March first and the Martenitsi…
The month of march is known to be the month of the women, since in march the weather is as unpredictable as a woman’s caprices (changing from cold hard winter to warm and friendly spring).
Wearing one or more martenitsi is a very popular Bulgarian tradition. The martenitsa symbolises new life, conception, fertility, and spring. The time during which it is worn is meant to be a joyful holiday commemorating health and long life. The colours of the martenitsa are interpreted as symbols of purity and life, as well as the need for harmony in Nature and in people’s lives.
Martenitsi are always given as gifts. They are given to loved ones, friends, and those people whom one feels close to. They are worn on clothing, or around the wrist or neck, until the wearer sees a stork or swallow returning from migration, or a blossoming tree, and then removes the Martenitsa and hangs it on a blossoming tree.
So hopefully spring is not far away now!