The martenitsa is a unique Bulgarian custom. It is made especially for 1 of March when according to the Bulgarians, the new agricultural year begins. It is a kind of amulet - twisted and tasseled red and white threads. The red, according to the folk beliefs,has the power of the sun and can give live to every living creature.
On the first of March children and adults put martenitsi(pl) on their clothes. The martenitsi are tied to bring health. Domestic animals and fruit-bearing trees are also adorned with martenitsa in the belief that it brings fertility. According to the popular custom, they wear until they see a stork, a swallow or a fruit tree in blossom for the first time. Then they take the martenitsi off and tie it on a tree or place it under a stone. Nine days later people try to divine their future by the insects arround the amulets.
by Tsoncho February 21, 2006