Monday, March 1, 2010

Баба Марта

A few weeks ago I noticed small stands appearing on the streets of Sofia and in the bus and train stations. The only things being sold at these stands were bracelets of red and white yarn and small red and white yarn figures. I’ve since learned that these items are called мартеници (martenitsi), and they are exchanged on March 1st in honor of Баба Марта ("Grandmother March"). Баба Марта is a mythical figure who theoretically brings with her the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The traditions associated with Баба Марта are quite interesting and well worth reading about. You can either do a Google search for Баба Марта, or read my friends' blog about her.


  1. Hi :) I have been following the "баба of the week" initiative you're running. I like it a lot, but have some questions. Namely, how did they feel when they left the village and went to live in the city, mostly in the 1960's ? I saw that most of your babas still live in villages or not so big cities, but still. Was it a major change for them, mainly on personal level? What was the feeling of seeing cities being built? Like new quarters, schools, etc. Was there something special in the air? I don't know, stuff like that :)
    Of course, you're the one making the interviews so don't feel obliged in any way :)

  2. Will do, although, as you note, the people I've met with so far merely traded village life for life in a small town. I'm actually hoping to meet with some Sofia babas in the near future, as well as some Roma babas. They should both offer completely different perspectives. Thanks for the feedback.