Relationship: Im/migrant

Bulgaria has many traditions that are worth exploring. Martenitsa dolls always fascinated me as a child.  I always enjoyed traveling to Bulgaria during March and learning about the dolls that hang on the trees that have yet to bloom.  Learning about the history of these bracelets and dolls is very important to me.  A Martenitsa is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and usually in the form of two dolls, a male and a female. The name of the holiday means "Grandma March" in Bulgarian, and the holiday and the wearing of Martenitsa are a Bulgarian tradition related to welcoming the spring. They originate from Bulgaria, the tradition dictates that Martenitsa is always given as gifts, not bought for oneself. They are given to loved ones, friends, and those people to whom one feels close. Beginning on the first of March, one or more are worn pinned to clothing, or around the wrist or neck, until the wearer sees a stork or swallow returning from migration, or a blossoming tree, and then removes the Martenitsa. My family has been celebrating the tradition of giving one another a Martenitsa before I was born. Martenitsa dolls are a very artistic and passionate way of representing Bulgaria. I chose this as a topic because I have worn these bracelets during March while in Bulgaria with my family.  Every year during March I think about the colors red and white, these bracelets mean so much to me and my past.  Overall Martenitsa plays a strong roll in many families who are proud of their culture.   

Place(s): Bulgaria, New York
Year: 2007


Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant