‘Baba Marta’ means ‘Grandma March’ and is an affectionate name given by Bulgarians to the month of March. Baba Marta is a willful old lady whose moods change quickly from sunshine to blizzards and whose arrival marks the beginning of spring.
On 1st Mar people of Bulgaria give each other Martenitsi (singular – Martenitsa, plural – Martenitsi) with wishes of health and good luck. Martenitsi are made from red and white yarn and can be as simple as an intertwined thread or as intricate as the maker’s imagination and skills permit. They are then worn tied around the wrist or pinned to the clothes near the heart until the wearer sees the first stork or a blossoming tree.
Martenitsi can look like the ones we made today at home:
…. or like these, which you can buy from the shops in Bulgaria:
Some of you may remember that I am organising a Bulgarian themed session at my local playgroup. We will be making Martenitsi and this is where I would love your input.
How can I make this craft more suitable for children under 5?