I am ever so grateful for receiving my very first Martenitsi, from a lovely friend Eva.
Martenitsi are worn from Baba Marta Day (March 1) until the wearer first sees a stork, swallow, or blossoming tree. The name of the holiday means “Grandma March” in Bulgarian and the holiday and the wearing of Martenitsi are a Bulgarian tradition related to welcoming the spring, which according to Bulgarian folklore begins in March.
I started this month wearing the bracelet and from what I have read about the symbolism; it has gifted me a true acknowledgement of how special and thoughtful the tradition is.
The red and white woven threads symbolize the wish for good health. They are the heralds of the coming of spring and of new life. While white as a color symbolizes purity, red is a symbol of life and passion, and so some ethnologists have proposed that, in its very origins, the custom might have reminded people of the constant cycle of life and death, the balance of good and evil, and the sorrow and happiness in human life. The Martenitsa is also a stylized symbol of Mother Nature, the white symbolizing the purity of the melting white snow and the red the setting of the sun, which becomes more and more intense as spring progresses. These two natural resources are the source of life. They are also associated with the male and female beginnings, and in their balance, with the need for balance in life.
Balance has been on the forefront of my thoughts even more constantly. I remember past times feeling like I am on top of the world and of late; darkness and weakness have overcome. We are all a little bipolar, in my opinion. However balance shapes the best in us, we are not perfect but that does not mean we are defined by out worst attributes. You are you and I am me, and there is one of each of us; with a reason or two for being here.
So let’s welcome Spring with a bounce in our step. Each day is a new beginning and the start of this season has reminded me that much. Whatever you decide and whatever you want to achieve, you are the choice that makes that happen so go for it!
Oh what a time to be well and alive.