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Baba Marta

Baba Marta - the first day of spring

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 on March 1 with the exchange and wearing of martenitsi.
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.
People wear martenitsa for a certain period, the end of which usually is connected with the first signs of spring - blossomed trees or spring birds like storks, swallows or cranes. 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.