24 February 2011

Martenitsa, celebrating Spring the Bulgarian way

On March 3 Orkestar Bez Ime and Mila Vocal Ensemble will be collaborating in a celebration of Spring at the Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The event will bring Bulgaria and Macedonia to the West Bank area of the University of Minnesota. Martenitsa! For more information on the concert, visit http://www.rogaria.com/shows.html

I learned this about 'Martenitsa' from Wikipedia........

"This is an old pagan tradition and remains almost unchanged today. The common belief is that by wearing the red and white colours of the martenitsa people ask Baba Marta for mercy. They hope that it will make winter pass faster and bring spring. Many people wear more than one martenitsa. They receive them as presents from relatives, close friends and colleagues. Martenitsa is usually worn pinned on the clothes, near the collar, or tied around the wrist. The tradition calls for wearing the martenitsa until the person sees a stork or a blooming tree. The stork is considered a harbinger of spring and as evidence that Baba Marta is in a good mood and is about to retire.

The martenitsa is also a stylized symbol of Mother Nature. At that early-spring/late-winter time of the year, Nature seems full of hopes and expectations. The white symbolizes the purity of the melting white snow and the red symbolizes 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.
Wearing one or more martenitsi is a very popular Bulgarian tradition. The martenitsa symbolizes new life, conception, fertility, and spring. The time during which it is worn is meant to be a joyful holiday commemorating health and long life. The colors of the martenitsa are interpreted as symbols of purity and life, as well as the need for harmony in Nature and in people's lives."

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