Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Честита Баба Марта!

A typical martenitsaTo all the Bulgarians in the house.

For the rest of you, I will update this entry later with an explanation. SFB might remember this: the First of March, red-and-white bracelet. Ringing bells, Chall?

Update: The Meaning of Баба Марта

From Wikipedia:

Baba Marta (Баба Марта, meaning Grandmother Marta in Bulgarian) is the name of a traditional Bulgarian custom celebrated on March 1 each year, symbolizing the coming of the spring season. Bulgarians wear martenitsi (singular martenitsa) to observe the occasion. The martenitsi are signs of good luck and health.

I have celebrated the First of March for the past three (or four? five?) years with my wife Delyana (a Bulgarian, for those of you who have not figured this out yet) by tying on a red-and-white мартеница (martenitsa). According to tradition, when you see the first stork of spring, you should remove your martenitsa and tie it on a tree. Of course, Wikipedia being the fount of knowledge that it is, I just discovered that in some parts of Bulgaria, you put your "spent" martenitsa under a stone, and depending on which insect happens along first, your luck for the year is set.

So for me, the second half of February is always something to look forward to, for we will be receiving martenitsi in the mail from each of Lyani's relatives. So come the first of March, we have a huge selection of martenitsi from which to choose. Lyani's approach to this "problem" is simply to wear her favourite four to seven, while I--concerned with being "manly"--choose to wear only one minimalistic bracelet. The others, we place around the house.

Yatsu's necktieOf course, this year, Yatsu demanded a martenitsa for himself, which he has been wearing as a necktie. According to him, it has brought the good luck it is supposed to; apparently his consulting business is doing better than ever before. When pressed about the actual nature of his consulting work, he tends to answer something like, "I develop high-value solutions focusing on efficiency, both process- and materials-oriented, based on the exact needs of the client, and taking into consideration the external factors congruent to the scenario."

OK, bear, whatever.

Bulgaria has lots of interesting traditions, so I will attempt to keep you foreigners appraised of them as they become seasonal. :)

Speaking of which, today (March 3) is Liberation Day, a public holiday that commemorates the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule, in 1878.


SFB said...

Indeed I remember your bulgarian good luck ball things.

You may get a kick out of this website it is a mock blog for Jim Tressel (OSU football coach).

Sean said...

I agree with Yatsu, more verily.

Anonymous said...

Hi, found you true Google...
My name is Delyana and no, I'm not Bulgarian. I'm a Dutch girl who's dad read a book 23 years ago, the name Deliana was in it, and without knowing that Delyana is an existing (Bulgarian? Or Kurdic?)name, he changed the letter I into Y.

I am for years already trying to find out the meaning of my name, I've gotten extremely curious by now. I hope you can help me out? Hopefully your wife knows?

I hope to be hearing from you... you can mail me at or find me at