Hi, what is your favorite holiday? Why is it special to you? Are there any stories behind the holiday? I would love to know about holidays in different cultures. I'll appreciate your stories. Thank you!
Hi, Ahava,

We have a very special holiday in my country, Bulgaria (it's a small country in Southeast Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula), and it is actually today, on March 1. As far as I know, it is not celebrated in other countries. We call it Baba (= granny) Marta (from mart - the Bulgarian word for the month of March).
Baba Marta has a pagan origin, as is often the case with holidays. What is very specific about this day is that we all wear martenitsas. A martenitsa is made of two interwoven threads: one white and one red. The red symbolises friendship, love and health, the white stands for purity and sincerity. You wear a martenitsa until you see your first spring bird (a migrating birds, such as a stork or a swallow). Then you tie it on a fruit-bearing tree for fertility. The martenitsa tradition is believed to have been introduced by the Thracians who lived here many many years ago.
There is also a fortune-telling custom connected with Baba Marta. On March 1 people choose one day from March 1 to 22. If the day turns out sunny, the year will be successful for them. If the weather is bad, the year will be difficult.

I hope you'll find this information interesting and helpful. Happy Baba Marta! Emotion: smile
Hi Miche,

Great holiday! It's really interesting, especially the fortune-telling part. Where do you wear the Martenitsas, around your wrist? If you need to tie it on a tree, is it the case that people all go outdoors, or go picnic in parks? I'm just curious. Thank you very much for your post!

Ahava
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Hi, Ahava,
I'm happy you like this holiday. Yes, these days most people wear their martenitsas around their wrists. When a friend gives you a martenitsa (as is the custom) you think of a wish while he/she ties it around your wrist. It is believed these wishes come true. You can also pin a martenitsa on the left side of your shirt/pullover/jacket/whatever. However, wearing it on your wrist is more convenient.
We do not have a special custom of going to picnic to tie our martenitsas on a tree. A tree in a park is a good solution for people living in the city. In the country, people have fruit-bearing trees in their yards. Once I tied my martenitsa on a tree in the yard of a monastery I like visiting in early spring - there were hundreds of martenitsas already there. Probably we felt it would be double luck to have the protection of the saints as well. Emotion: smile
ahava_yin Hi, what is your favorite holiday? Why is it special to you? Are there any stories behind the holiday? I would love to know about holidays in different cultures. I'll appreciate your stories. Thank you!

I never liked a holiday because for me home was hell. But I do have a sweet memory in last year's Idul Adha.