Martenitza (Baba Marta)

Every year on March 1, people in Bulgaria present each other with martenitzas—two joined tassels of red-and-white woolen thread symbolizing health and happiness. In some regions, women dress completely in red on this day. In northeastern Bulgaria, the lady of the house traditionally tosses a red cloth over a fruit tree, or spreads a red woolen cloth on the fields for fertility. In stock-breeding areas, a red-and-white thread is tied to the cattle. Bulgaria is the only country where this particular fertility custom seems to have survived. Discuss
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