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The Martenitsa

by Libby Gomersall

Baba Marta, or Granny March, represents the advent of spring. After a harsh winter she is welcomed with open arms on March 1. The celebration is steeped in years of history and tradition with some interesting legends surrounding its origins and the wearing of those red and white bands called Martenitsi.

Baba Marta is a Pagan tradition borne out of the days when heathen peasants believed in higher forces at work affecting the weather, fertility and successful crop growth. Pagans worldwide celebrated the coming of the spring each year, thousands of years before Christ’s birth. Spring was renowned as a time of renewal and fertility representing new life and a fresh start after the cold winter. In reality, this meant that food was scarce during harsh Bulgarian winters and people worshipped the spring in the hope that it would bring clement weather suitable for sowing and tending crops. Spring is also the season of fertility and new life, a time when animals reproduce and provide more food for hungry families.

Read the original article at: The Sophia Echo

Read the original article at: The Sophia Echo

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