One of the beautiful Bulgarian traditions is the celebration of 1st of March as the day when the winter is coming to an end.
According to the legend, on that day grandmother March (‘Baba Marta’ in Bulgarian) scolds her naughty grandchildren -January and February and commands them to put an end to the harsh winter times.
On that day, we wear and also gift each a thread in red and white – Martenitsa, with the wish to be healthy and happy. The thread is worn until we see a stork ( symbolizing the upcoming spring) and is then put on a blossomed tree so it grows healthy and fruitful.
This year baba Marta finds me in India where the hot and humid weather has nothing to do with the typical cold and often snowy conditions that I am used to experiencing back home in Europe.
Nevertheless the traditions remain the same independently of the location. Just like in all the previous years I wear my Martenitsa and give Martenitsas to people around me. And the same memory visits me in such a vivid way that it feels like it was yesterday- my grandmother gives me a Martenitsa, a bunch of amazing smelling flowers that grow in Bulgaria in March and also a hand-made card, made by a friend of hers containing an inspirational wish.
My grandmother is no longer here to give me these gifts, but I make my own cards now and I give them to others so they can feel the same way I felt when receiving them:) And I am going to keep doing it every year. Traditions will always be followed.