+359 2 964-10-60

In Bulgaria every year on March 1 we celebrate the day of Baba Marta.

This is one of the most beautiful and loved Bulgarian holidays, associated with the arrival of spring, as traditionally on this day we give each other martenitsi with wishes for health, happiness, luck, longevity, and well-being. For those planning their travels to Sofia, immerse yourself in the city's vibrant culture and hospitality with our luxury serviced apartments in Sofia, offering the perfect accommodation for your city break and this wonderful tradition that is the Martenitsa. Discover the best places to stay in Sofia, by being our guests and indulge in our family-friendly apartments, ensuring a memorable stay for all. Explore the beauty of Sofia and its surroundings with our weekend getaway deals on accommodation, making your travel experience truly unforgettable. Whether you're seeking short-term rentals or long-term stays in Sofia we offer something for every traveler. Plan your trip to Sofia today and uncover the wonders of this enchanting city by staying with us. 

Baba Marta is a mythical figure from the Bulgarian folklore. Her name is associated with the month of March, the end of winter and the onset of spring. She is the sister of Big Sechko (January) and Small Sechko (February), known for their hot temper.

Baba Marta herself has an unpredictable character, whose mood changes often. That's why the weather in the month of March is changeable - when she's happy, the sun shines and the weather is warm and pleasant, but if she gets angry - strong winds blow, clouds hide the sun and it gets cold. Therefore, people try to please her and not to anger her.

In the past, on this day (March 1), the eldest woman in the family would mainly clean the house before sunrise and spread out a red fabric - a tablecloth, an apron, a sash or a mat. They believed that this way Baba Marta would be happy and be kind to the home and the people in it. The young ones went outside so she could see them and smile.

In some places, they lit a fire in the courtyard and jumped over the embers to drive away the evil forces.

According to the beliefs, by crocheting martenitsi, people ask for the favor of Baba Marta. The martenitsi are believed to bring health, happiness, luck, prosperity, longevity and protection from diseasesand evils. Martenits are made from twisted white and red threads of woollen or cotton yarn, in the form of beautiful bracelets or various figurines. 

The white colour symbolizes purity, innocence, masculinity, the power of light, happiness and long life.

The colour red is a symbol of fire, love and life, of the feminine and birth.

Sometimes other colours are added - blue (the personification of the sky and water, a symbol of divine eternity and aristocracy), green (a symbol of luck and new beginning).

Martenitsi are often decorated with blue beads (against bad eyes) or a coin (for prosperity).

When making them, the threads must be twisted to the left. 

Our luxury two-bedroom apartments in Sofia provide an ideal setting for families and friends to exchange martenitsi and create lasting memories together. The apartments are located right next to the famous Vitosha pedestrian street, where you will find tens of Handmade pop-up shops with all kinds of Martenitsi.

 A typical martenitsa consists of 2 small figurines - Pijo and Penda. Pijo is the male and is mostly white, Penda is the female and is mostly red, with a beautiful patterned apron.

Today there is a really rich variety of different types of martenitsi, the most valuable and original are the handmade ones.

 According to beliefs, this martenitsa, which was given to you, brings health, happiness and luck, therefore, traditionally, on March 1st, loved ones, relatives, friends and colleagues are adorned with martenitsas. 

They are usually worn on the wrist, around the neck as a necklace or on clothes, on the left side. In some places, martenitsi are also hung on the doors of houses, domestic animals and fruit trees.

Traditionally, martenits are worn until the first migration birds (stork or swallow) or the first blooming tree is seen, showing the arrival of spring. They are then tied to the branches of a flowering fruit tree for abundant fruit or to young green trees and shrubs for health.

Sometimes they are left under a stone, and by this, one can make guesses - if ants later appear under the stone, the year will be fertile. In some places, people throw the martenitsa into a river, so that all the bad things flow out and they go down the drain.

 In addition to Bulgaria, the custom of wearing martenitsi is also known in Romania (they are called marchishor and are tied on the hands of women and small children only), Moldova, North Macedonia (martinka), Northern Greece (marti, are tied only on the hands of children ), Serbia, Albania (Monjak).

It is assumed that its roots are connected with the ancient rites and pagan agricultural nature cults characteristic of the population of the Balkan Peninsula (Thracian / Paleo-Balkan and Hellenic customs). The Thracians, inhabiting these lands centuries ago, tied white-red intertwined threads for the end of cold weather and the awakening of nature to new life. The combination of the white and red thread symbolized the immortality of the human spirit and the infinity of life.

Since 2017 the tradition of wearing martenitsi is part of UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Travelers visiting Sofia can experience the city's rich cultural heritage firsthand and participate in traditional celebrations during their stay in our hotel apartments. Our Weekend getaway deals on Sofia accommodation provide an excellent opportunity for travelers to experience the magic of Baba Marta while enjoying a relaxing stay in the heart of the city. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, various legends appeared, sung in folk songs and legends, which connect the first Martenites with the proto-Bulgarians, Khan Asparuh and the foundation of the Bulgarian state (681). According to one of them, when the proto-Bulgarians, led by Khan Asparuh, reached the Danube plain, they were impressed by the lands and decided to settle here. The khan asked to make a sacrifice to the god Tangra to beg for his protection. Traditionally, a sprig of dried fennel was needed to light the sacrificial pyre, but there was none around. At that moment, a falcon perched on Khan Asparukh's shoulder, on whose leg hung a bunch of fennel, tied with a white woollen thread, half dyed red. He was sent by Asparukh's sister - Huba, who remained in their native lands. She dreamed a dream and understood her brother's predicament. During the long flight, the falcon's wing became chafed and the blood-stained part of the white thread. Thus, Khan Asparukh managed to light the fire as tradition dictates and kept the white-red thread for health and luck.

Another legend is related to the battle of Ongla (680) between the Bulgarian Khan Asparuh and the Byzantine troops, which ended in a crushing victory for the proto-Bulgarians. This victory was the first step towards the creation of the Bulgarian state (Danube Bulgaria) in 681. After the victory, Khan Asparukh sent pigeons with white threads to inform his main camp. Flying into it, some of the threads were dyed red by the blood of the wounded birds.

A third legend tells that before he died, Khan Kubrat gathered his 5 sons and bequeathed them to always be united and together because that is the only way they will be strong and the enemies will not be able to defeat them. After his death, they quickly forgot their father's wise counsel and were defeated by the Khazars. Their leader Khan Ashina seized the Bulgarian lands and took Kubrat's daughter - Huba - captive. Her brothers scattered to seek new lands for their tribes. After some time, a falcon flew to Huba with a letter from Khan Asparuh, in which he announced that he had discovered an incredible land south of the Danube River and that they would settle there. Khuba managed to escape and went to the new lands, led by a falcon. When they reached the waters of the Danube, she tied a white silk thread to the bird's leg and let it fly to inform her brother Asparuh of her arrival. The falcon was wounded by the arrows of the Huns who were chasing Hubba, and its blood stained the thread. When his sister reached him safe and sound, Khan Asparukh pinned each of his warriors with a piece of the thread, with the wish that the thread that binds us together would never be broken.

To this day, the white-red thread is the strong thread that connects Bulgarians all over the world.

On March 1, everyone with the names Marta, Martina, Martin, and Eudokia celebrates their name day.