On March 1st, Bulgarians celebrate the coming of spring by giving friends and family red and white bracelets called martenitsi. The day is called Baba Marta, which means Granny March.
The bracelets are a sign of good luck and are thought to bring health and happiness for the year. Traditionally, they are worn until the spring blossoms appear on the trees, or the stork flies overhead returning to it’s nest after the cold winter. The bracelets are then tied to a tree or placed under a rock.
The martenitsa tradition is thought to have been inspired by Bulgaria’s first Khan Asparuh, who sent a white string to his wife to tell her he survived a battle.