Phlashback: Martenitsa

one in an occasional series of photo flashbacks

Five years ago

Честита Баба Марта (happy baba marta), y’all! when i was studying in germany, a classmate from bulgaria (hi sasho, and thanks! — i have not forgotten!) gave me this red and white bracelet, a martenitsa, to celebrate the coming of spring. the red, according to the wiki article, symbolizes life and the setting sun, and the white symbolizes purity and melting snow. from what i understand, you give a martenitsa to friends and family who wear it as a way of asking baba marta (“grandma march”) to hurry up and get winter over with and usher in spring. cool tradition, no?

you keep the bracelet on until you see a sign of the new season such as a stork or a swallow — or a blossoming tree, at which point you tie the bracelet to one of the branches. i did just that about three weeks later when i was in paris with my visiting cousin and saw this tree in bercy park (one of my favorite urban parks, anywhere):

Taken with an LC-A. It was a gusty day; hope my bracelet actually stayed put!

i leave you with this excerpt from the wiki article — happy march, and here’s wishing you a great spring and rest of the year!

The martenitsa symbolises 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 colours 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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