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Baba Marta (Bulgarian: Баба Марта, "Granny March") is the name of a mythical figure who brings with her the end of the cold winter and the beginning of the spring. Her holiday of the same name is celebrated in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
on March 1 with the exchange and wearing of martenitsi. Baba Marta folklore is also present in southern and eastern Serbia
Serbia
where it is a reference as to a freezing weather change after a spring break. The Romanian holiday Mărţişor is related to Baba Marta.

Contents

1 Baba Marta Day 2 Martenitsi 3 Other Names 4 See also 5 References

Baba Marta Day[edit] Main article: Baba Marta Day Bulgarians
Bulgarians
celebrate on March 1 a centuries-old tradition and exchange martenitsi on what is called the day of Baba Marta. The tradition of giving friends red-and-white interwoven strings brings health and happiness during the year and is a reminder that spring is near. Baba Marta ("Grandma March") is believed to be a feisty lady who always seems to be grudging at her two brothers, January and February, while the sun only comes out when she smiles. As folklore there are different versions of the Baba Marta tale. One says that on that day she does her pre-spring cleaning and shakes her mattress for the last time before the next winter - all the feathers that come out of it pour on Earth like snow - the last snow of the year. This story can also be found in German folklore, for instance in the "Frau Holle" or Mother Hulda
Mother Hulda
legend. Martenitsi[edit] "Martenitsi" are red and white coloured bands or figurines that symbolise health and happiness, a lucky charm against evil spirits. They are given away to friends and family and are worn around the wrist or on clothes. In the small villages in the mountains people decorate their houses, kids and domestic animals. The white color first symbolized man, the power light solar zone. Later, under the influence of Christian mythology it began to indicate integrity and virginity – white is the color of Christ. Red represents the woman and health: it is a sign of blood, conception and birth. In ancient times women’s wedding dresses were red. The martenitsa comes in all shapes and sizes - from building packages to strings on a newborn's arm. Children usually compete who will get the most. People wear martenitsa for a certain period, the end of which usually is connected with the first signs of spring -bird storks. Some people then tie their martenitsa to a tree, others place it under a rock and based on what they find there the next morning guess what kind of a year this one would be. The Bulgarian tradition resembles folklore known in parts of Asia and South America, to wear a lucky bringing friendship bracelet around the wrist until it wears out. It also resembles the German tradition of hanging empty eggs in blossoming trees during the (now Christian) Eastern folklore and the Persian tradition of hanging fruit in trees at midwinter. Other Names[edit] The Romanian holiday Mărţişor is a variant of Baba Marta. See also[edit]

Pizho and Penda Baba Dochia

References[edit]

v t e

Slavic mythology

Deities

Dažbog Belobog1 Chernobog Devana1 Hors Kresnik Jarilo Mat Zemlya Lada1 Marzanna Mokosh Perun Porenut Porewit Radegast1 Rod2 Rugiewit Stribog Svarog1 Svetovid Triglav Veles Zaria Živa

Legendary heroes

Alyosha Popovich Burislav Damned Jerina Dobrynya Nikitich Ilya Muromets Ivan Kosančić Ivan Tsarevich Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv Lech, Czech, and Rus Libuše Mikula Selyaninovich Mila Gojsalić Milan Toplica Miloš Obilić Nikita the Tanner Popiel Prince Marko Sadko Solovey-Razboynik Svyatogor Vasilisa the Beautiful Volga Svyatoslavich

Unquiet dead

Vila Drekavac Kikimora Mavka Rusalka Upyr

Spirits of place

Bannik Bagiennik Domovoi Dvorovoi Lady Midday Leshy Ovinnik Polevik Vodyanoy Shubin

Mythical creatures

Ala Alkonost Baba Yaga Baš Čelik Bauk Berehynia Bies Black Arab Blud Boginki Bukavac Cikavac Chort Dola Dukljan Fern flower-Chervona Ruta Firebird Gamayun Ispolin Karzełek Koschei Krsnik Likho Likhoradka Nav' Nocnitsa Psoglav Raróg Raskovnik Samodiva Simargl Sirin Shishiga Skrzak Stuhać Sudice Tintilinić Topielec Ved Vesna Zduhać Zmey

Ritual characters

Baba Marta German Dodola Koliada Kupala Marzanna Maslenitsa Jarilo

Mythological places

Kingdom of Opona Buyan Vyraj Kitezh Lukomorye

Related topics

Book of Veles Films based on Slavic mythology Polish folk beliefs Russian traditions and superstitions Ukrainian folklore Serbian folk astronomy Slavic fairies Slavic fantasy Bogatyr Volkhv

Notes: 1 historicity of the deity is dubious; 2 the deity

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