Bulgaria’s Folklore Traditions: Baba Marta and her Martenitsi

Bulgaria, 17 Feb - 16 Mar 2015
Baba Marta and her Martenitsi are back in town ++ The King Simeon will be back in Bulgarian politics? ++ Weather claims victims in Bulgaria ++ Grigor Dimitrov beats Roger Federer in a thrilling tennis game. by Ivan Yanakiev
Baba Marta and her Martenitsi are back in town


Each year at the beginning of March, Baba Marta comes to Bulgaria to announce the arrival of spring. Baba Marta (Eng. Granny March) is the name of a mythical figure. Special care must be taken not to anger the old lady because her role is to send winter away and to welcome the beginning of spring. In Bulgaria everybody celebrates the day of Baba Marta with the exchange and wearing of Martenitsi as a symbol for luck, health and fertility.

Years ago, people used to make their own Martenitsi, which are small adornments made of red and white yearn, rather than buy them in stores. Nowadays the main shopping streets in Bulgarian towns are full of stalls selling the little pieces. A typical traditional Martenitsa consists of a male and female figure called Pizho and Penda. You can wear your Martenitsa either pinned on clothes or around your wrist as a bracelet and you are supposed to wear it until you see a stork. If you tie it to a tree, you will get good luck.

The King Simeon will be back in Bulgarian politics?


A committee of 100 Bulgarian politicians, public figures and sports persons have appealed with the statement that Bulgarian King Simeon II should be given the option of future contribution to the development of contemporary Bulgaria. The initiative aimed to return Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha back to Bulgaria’s political life. He dropped out of it after being king-prime minister from 2001-2005.

Bulgaria’s last king Simeon II and founder of the political party NDSV could efficiently bolster major national causes such as the submission of Bulgaria into the Schengen zone, as mentioned by Stanimir Ilchev, former member of the European parliament with the liberal party NDSV.

‘It’s good to avoid interpretations,’ said Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha when asked whether the initiative could turn into a new political project in Bulgaria. ‘Read it and from there on let’s have a realistic attitude,’ he said, referring to media suggestions that the initiative might be heralding his political comeback.

Weather claims victims in Bulgaria


Victims have been falling from the weather that has gripped Bulgaria in the past weeks. Government institutions announced an orange code for dangerously heavy snowfall in Bulgaria.

The country continues to fight with the consequences of the huge snowfalls that have massively disrupted power supplies and caused travel chaos on the roads. There were difficulties in restoring electricity supply in regions with nearly four meters of snowfall. Energy Minister Temenuzka Petkova said: ‘The energy system in the country was at risk because of severe weather conditions.’ She said that according to data provided by the energy distribution companies, as of 1pm a total of 755 settlements, mainly in South-Eastern Bulgaria, had no electricity.

There are still 70 villages without electricity. Fortunately snowfalls have stopped and teams continue to break through the snow to the small villages. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov made apromise that power supply will be restored to all citizens by Tuesday.

Grigor Dimitrov beats Roger Federer in a thrilling tennis game


When two top-ranked tennis players face off against each other there is just one option for the crowd – to get a giant dose of excitement watching an extremely beautiful game. And so it was.

Moreover, in this particular game Grigor Dimitrov beat 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at Madison Square Garden and recorded his first victory against player of such rank. On the speculations of whether Dimitrov can repeat his success against such an opponent, Federer himself commented: ‘I think he played very well. He did really well to turn the match around, honestly. So credit to him. It's a lot of pressure - first time at the Garden.’


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