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Baba Marta Day

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Where is Baba Marta Day celebrated?

 Baba Marta Day is celebrated in Bulgaria on March 1 every year.

Who is Baba Marta Day celebrated by?

Baba Marta Day is celebrated by Bulgarian people and particularly older women every year to honor their tradition and mark the end of winters and the onset of spring.

When did Baba Marta Day first start?

The legend of Baba Marta Day is still unknown but it is believed that this celebration dates back centuries or even millennium in the country of Bulgaria.

Who started Baba Marta Day?

The exact origins or founders of Baba Marta Day are unknown, this day has become a part of Bulgarian Tradition over time. The celebration of Grandma March and giving red and white threads have become an integral part of the Bulgarian tradition.

Baba Marta Day is celebrated in Bulgaria using red and white threads called 'Martenitsa'.

History And Timeline

While no one knows the actual origins of Baba Marta, it is clear that it dates back years, if not millennia. Some individuals have hypothesized that it may possibly date back to early Greece or Rome. Whatever its origins, it is known that it is most likely one of the older traditions developed on the Balkan Peninsula and therefore is likely tied to ancient agrarian cults.


Baba Marta Night

In 1974, a large group of people from Toronto's Macadono-Bulgarian community assembled in Methody Parish Hall wearing red and white martenitsi to celebrate Baba Marta Night.


Biggest Celebration Yet

2000s had the biggest celebration of Baba Marta Day since the beginning of the new Millenium.


A Grand Bulgarian Party

In 2013, Bulgarian-British society celebrated Baba Marta with a grand Bulgarian party with wine, food, music, and dances.


15 Million Martenitsi

In 2020 over 15 million martinitsas were exchanged between Bulgarians.


Baba Marta In Pandemic

Bulgarian people celebrated Baba Marta Day in the purview of the pandemic and people safely spent it inside their homes with their families.

Traditions And Customs

Ladies in Bulgaria and Romania used to hang red aprons, belts, rugs, or knotted strings in front of their homes on March 1 to protect themselves from illness and poverty. When Baba Martha or Grandma March, who represents the spring season of March, saw them, she burst out laughing, causing the Sun to shine brightly once more.

The ladies were meant to make Martenitsas by twisting red and white threads together, which they then handed to all family members particularly children to wear like a wrist band. The Martenitsa should be twisted in the same way as bachelors are 'twisted around' by young unmarried ladies. Martenitsas should be worn just on the right side of the body by married ladies, and on the left by single women. The bachelors were obliged to wear their Martenitsas with their edges extended, whilst the elderly were meant to make sure the Martenitsas were well and neatly placed so they wouldn't fly around during the party.

The first week of March is known in certain areas of the country as 'Counting Days', which are said to predict how the weather will be throughout the year. Other common traditions include the 'picking of a day' ritual, in which people choose a day in March and then wait for it to arrive in hopes to see whether it will be sunshine or raining, chilly or warm, much like their life will be throughout the year.

Ways To Celebrate Baba Marta Day

Families traditionally clear up their homes in late February, just before March arrives. This is done in order for Baba Marta to arrive and bring spring with her. It also symbolizes the clearing out of everything 'old' and the welcoming in of everything 'fresh'.

It's also usual for people to make red and white strings and offer them to one another. Martenitsi are red and white personal decorations that mainly come in the shape of bracelets. The colors are thought to represent not just a wish for prosperity in the coming year, but also a wish for good health for the recipient throughout the year. A person is meant to wear these charms until they see a flowering tree or a stork, according to tradition. 

Bulgarians sometimes honor Baba Marta traditions by throwing a feast to welcome spring. 

The practice of wearing red and white, like the festival itself, is steeped in many legends. Wearing the traditional outfit custom has been linked to the deity Mars, also regarded as Ares by the Greeks, in various tales. Mars was the god of battle in ancient times, yet he was also the protector of spring. Women would offer their husbands red and white pieces of fabric to put around their wrists for safety throughout the various battles waged by Bulgarians. The colors white and crimson are thought to depict the soldier's blood and the pale complexion of the woman he is leaving behind. Greeting each other in the form of chestita Baba Marta is also believed to be a fairly common practice.

Facts And Stats

  • People wear the martenitsa that they receive on Baba Marta Day, from the moment they get it until the first hints of spring appear.
  • The colors of martenitsi worn of Baba Marta Day are always red and white. The reason for this is a desire for the recipient's good happiness and health for the remainder of the year which is signified by these two colors.
  • 'Mărțişor' is a Romanian celebration comparable to Baba Marta Day.

FAQs About Baba Marta Day

What is Baba Marta Bulgaria?

Baba Marta in Bulgaria is a holiday that falls on March 1 where people celebrate by exchanging and wearing martenitsi.

What do you do with Martenitsi?

Martenitsi are red and white bands or figures which symbolize health and happiness, and a lucky charm against evil spirits. People give them away to friends and family and are worn around the wrist or on clothes.

Who is Baba Marta?

Baba Marta is a mythical figure in Bulgarian culture. There is a belief in the Bulgarian culture that the arrival of Baba Marta signifies the end of cold winters and the beginning of warm and cozy springs.

Where Do You Get a Martenitsa?

You can get a Martenitsa in Bulgaria. It is made of white and red yarn and usually in the form of two dolls, a white male and a red female doll.

What is the significance of Baba Marta Day?

On March 1, which is the day of Baba Marta. Bulgarians celebrate a centuries-old tradition, where they also exchange martenitsi. On Baba Marta Day people gift their friends red-and-white interwoven strings and wish for health and happiness during the year. Baba Marta Day also serves as a reminder that spring is near.

Why do people celebrate Baba Marta Day?

People celebrate Baba Marta Day on March 1 to honor their centuries-old tradition and wish well-being and prosperity to their friends and family to mark the ending of the cold chilly weather and to welcome the warm happy springs. 

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When Is This Day Celebrated

Date Day
March 01, 2020 Sunday
March 01, 2021 Monday
March 01, 2022 Tuesday
March 01, 2023 Wednesday
March 01, 2024 Friday

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