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spring traditions: march: Baba Marta - 1st March

     Third day is considered the first day of the spring and is celebrated with a great joy. A red cloth is hung on top of the door or under the eaves and stays there until Mladenci. It is believed that the red color will make Baba Marta happy and the weather will be nice. The old women do not go out early because they do not want to make her angry and break the weather.

     Bonfires are set on this day and people jump over them as they think this will chase the snakes and lizards away.
     The women do not wash and hand out white clothes because this may cause hailstorms and frost. They do not weave norboil anything because they do not want thunder to strike. According to the old Bulgarian tradition martenicas, read and white threads put together, are made on this day. Everybody puts martenicas on their hands or necks to bring them health and strength and to protect them from the evil eyes. Martenicas are put on the pats and the fruit trees as well to bring them health and fruitfulness.
     The martenicas are carried on until the first storks and swallow come. When you have seem a stork you can take you martenica off and put it on a blossomed tree or throw it towards the bird and say: "Take the ugliness of the winter away, bring forth the beauty of the spring!" The martenica can also be put under a rock. After a few days you can look under the rock and make predictions - if there are ants under it a lot of lambs will be born this year, if there are warms a lot of horses will be born and if there are lady-birds there will be a lot of calves this year.
     The traditional martenica are red and white but in different regions of the country they can also be red and blue, red, white and yellow or even made of seven different colors.