Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Martenitsa!



Happy first day of March to everyone! Last week in school, we were studying Bulgaria, and learned about Baba Marta, or the Bulgarian holiday that welcomes spring.  How fitting, and just in time! So we set out to make a Martenitsa (or five!) to celebrate.  Traditionally,  Martenitsi - small tokens made of red and white yarn- are exchanged March 1 to welcome the upcoming spring.  They come in all different forms and sizes, and can be worn like a bracelet or pinned to clothing.  Little dolls are also hung from trees.  Pizho, the boy doll, is made of white yarn, and Penda, the girl, is made of red.  They decided to make a few traditional, and then switch it up a bit and make a white girl as well.








We decided to make the dolls, and I realized as I was looking at pictures of them, that I used to make these dolls in Jr. high and high school for my friends.  I think I learned how to make them from a church camp, but I never knew their origin.  So it also brought back lots of memories for me, watching the kids make them.  They loved wrapping the yarn (when there weren't any knots to unravel!)  and had fun making their dolls.  And we are definitely on the lookout for spring!

It was feeling very spring-like, blossoms and all, until we actually got snow this weekend.  I mean it- it actually SNOWED in Santa Paula!  The Mister and I were at the store (buying more Gatorade and crackers for the sick crew), when we heard them announce over the loudspeaker that it was snowing.  Our neighbor, who happened to be there also, said in his 80 years of living here, he's never seen anything like it!  Isn't it nice to still be having firsts at 80?!  The snow soon gave way to a massive hail storm, and after about 5 minutes turned to rain.  As we drove home, we hit patches of clear skies and no rain....strange weather indeed!  So welcome, March-we will await the spring blossoms ahead!

3 comments:

  1. A very fun lesson! We're hoping for spring to arrive here by May! About Rick Steve's - his books are by far the most helpful and accurate. He has saved me a ton of $$ (and headaches!). -diane

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  2. How very fun & educational! I like that you and your kids do arts and crafts together. I have never heard of these dolls before. It is cool that you experienced some flurries in S.P. none in Ventura!

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  3. Amber! Nice to hear from you :) I recently saw a Ventura history book and it had pictures of SNOW at Port Hueneme! I think it was 1940's, but just incredible. And Diane- I"m so glad we've connected- it is bringing back flood's of memories, and I get to be excited for you as you get ready for your trip! I'll have to tell you how I met Rick Steve's at some point! :)

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