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The Battle for Spring Begins


The battle for spring began on March 1. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why this month we're fighting against a Bulgarian grandmother with weapons made of string.

"I believe it was Utah Climate Center meteorologist Martin Shroeder who said that March is a schizophrenic month, but it is the Bulgarians who attribute the capriciousness of early spring weather to Baba Marta, or Grandma March, a witch of a grandma who can be sweet as a shaft of light on a daffodil one day and mean as stinging sleet the next. To appease Baba Marta, Bulgarians wear martenitsi -- red and white fabric talismans pinned to their collar or around their wrists. This can be as simple as a braided yarn bracelet, like I'm donning these days, or as gaudy as a gilded tassel woven with beads and coins and even snail shells. Unmarried girls especially like to wear theirs as a piece of attractive jewelry, whereas married men will sometimes hide them in their sock."