The Martenitsa is a traditional Bulgarian charm made from red and white wool, silk or cotton and given to people when they celebrate the approaching of spring. The charm represents two small dolls; a red female and a white male and should be given as gifts.
History of The Martenitsa Good Luck Charm
The holiday of Baba Marta, or Grandma Marta in English, is an ancient tradition that Bulgarians recognize as a celebration of the joy and new life that comes with spring. Legends tell of Baba Marta who was an old woman with a changeable temperament which is said to represent that changing weather as spring approaches. If Baba Marta was angry then winter would stay for longer but if she was smiling then sunny days would arrive.
Why the Martenitsa Charm Brings Luck
The martenisa charm started to be made and worn as a way of asking Baba Marta for mercy. Wearers hoped that by wearing them it would make Baba Marta happy and winter would pass quickly.
How to Use the Martenitsa Charm
The Martenitsa charm is worn either on the clothes, can be tied around the wrist or worn around the neck. It should stay in place until the wearer first sees a stork or fruit on a blossom tree. Once this has been seen the wearer should remove the charm and then tie it to a blossom tree.
How the Martenitsa Charm Is Made
Martenitsas are made by weaving the red and white thread together to create the two dolls which should be joined. The red doll should have a skirt to represent the female doll. More recently marenitsas are being made into decorative pieces of jewelry that might use different colors and include beads.
How to Make the Martenitsa Charm at Home
Martenitsas are something that can be great fun to make at home. All that is needed is some white and red wool, silk or cotton. For a traditional mertenitsa, the white and red material should be used to create two joined dolls, however, it is becoming popular to make bracelets or necklaces by weaving the threads together.
Interesting and Fun Facts About the Martenitsa Charm
● The white of the Martenitsa represents happiness, strength, and purity while the redrepresents health, conception, and fertility.
● This tradition has changed over time and now martenitsas do not always depict the two dolls but the red and white materials can be used to create bracelets.