I was playing around a bit this morning with Google’s Search History functions, and click the link Interesting Items. One of the things it picked (see image) that I might find interesting was the keyword term “баба марта.” I was interested since it was (presumably) in Russian, and I don’t do any Russian language searching, so I clicked on it. A few links down was the WikiPedia entry on the keyword, the gist of which was:
On the first of March and the first few days after, Bulgarians give to one another white and red tassels or small wool dolls called “Pizho and Penda“, or “Martenitsi”. Additionally, in Bulgarian folklore the name Mart is related to a grumpy old lady whose mood shifts very rapidly. Her name is Grandma Marta, in Bulgarian — Baba Marta (Баба Марта).
The tradition has remained almost the same today as it was when it began. Today Bulgarians give one another the red and white colours to please Baba Marta so that she will not make winter last. In doing so, they hope the spring will come as soon as possible. Many people wear more than one martenitsa, which they have received as presents from relatives, close friends and colleagues. Martenitsa is usually worn on the clothes pinned near to the collar or on the hand tied around the wrist. The tradition calls for wearing the martenitsa until the person spots a stork for the first time in the season. This bird is considered a harbinger of spring and is evidence that Baba Marta has been pleased and is about to retire.
Needless to say, I’m not all that interested. Thanks for trying, though Google!