Bulgarian traditions of 1 March

Ethnographers and researchers presume that the martenitsa is brought in by proto-Bulgarians at the end of VII century. Even then our forefathers used to attach to their battle standard of spear and horse's tail a twisted and blood-colored wool. The tradition of wearing such an amulet was present for over 13 centuries. Of course, until our days the "martenka" has changed quite a bit. Today there's a great diversity of models and variations. In every region where Bulgarian communities live martenitsas are made. They've got a specific outlook in separate regions. The authentic amulet is made of natural materials. Typical is the using of both white and red woolen yarn, but there are also villages where they substitute the white with blue yarn - against evil forces. The red thread is always present however (giving health, fertility and fruitfulness). A single-colored martenitsa of red wool is made in some villages in Northern Bulgaria. The handcrafting of the amulet in some particular regions is bound to certain rituals. For Bulgarians from the village of Yasaug the martenitsas are made "by a hungry-hearted" and in Nova Nadejda they're "twisted by a man who hasn't kindled a fire". In Ochrid (Macedonia) they're made while keeping the eyes closed and wool collected from stubble-fields and briers. The thread of the martenitsa is always twisted, because "a not-twisted thread is not a martenitsa" and the twisting is done always leftward.
Among the components of the amulet are also auxiliary elements like small coins, metal links, metal cuttings, cornel-tree twigs, wooden balls, dry garlic cloves, beads and other. The combining of the threads with these elements is a pursuit of coherence between the shaping of the martenitsa and it's purpose as an amulet. That's why they're meant mainly for people and pets. Martenitsas are also being tied on fruit-trees, trellised vines, folds and other farm buildings, implements, in houses, under awnings and other. Wearing this amulet is until certain period has passed - until 9 March, 25 March (The Annunciation) or until the first sighting of a stork, swallow or cuckoo as well a blooming fruit-tree. Then they're left mostly under a rock or tied onto a blooming fruit-tree and in rare occasions they're thrown against the sun, along a river or burned. We offer some models which are our own idea and style handcrafted for the bazaars of marthenitsas. Studio "Dinel" turned into a tradition the making of these exhibitions every winter near the end of February. Each model You can see separately. If You'd like to order or if You're interested in viewing others of our models write us at our e-mail: ludinel@abv.bg

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