Celebrating Bulgarian Tradition: Sixth Annual Martenitsa-Tree in Chicago

Society » CULTURE | February 26, 2024, Monday // 17:25
Bulgaria: Celebrating Bulgarian Tradition: Sixth Annual Martenitsa-Tree in Chicago Photo: Peter Stamatov @eurochicago.com

Embracing the rich cultural heritage of Bulgaria, Bulgarians in Chicago marked the sixth consecutive year of the international "Martenitsa" project on February 25th. This initiative, which originates from the ancient Bulgarian tradition of martenitsa, aims to spread the symbolic red and white adornments globally, fostering a sense of Bulgarianness and promoting a positive image of Bulgaria and its communities worldwide.

The concept of adorning trees with martenitsi was first conceived by Stara Zagora artist Marijan Milanov in 1992. Since then, the tradition has flourished, with red and white trees gracing squares in Sofia, Burgas, Plovdiv, Varna, and beyond. The goal of the project is to decorate at least one martenitsa tree in every city across the globe, thereby popularizing the holiday and its significance.

In Chicago, the event took place in the garden adjacent to the renowned Art Institute, organized by members of the Bulgarian-American Association, one of the oldest public associations with social goals in the Bulgarian community. Supported by both male and female compatriots, the participants braved the harsh weather conditions, contributing new and creative martenitsi to adorn the tree.

Petranka Stamatova, Velina and Lumil Ivanovi, and Tsvetelina Boinovska, who decorated the martenitsa tree, extend an invitation to fellow Bulgarians and visitors to join them on March 3rd, when the Bulgarian flag will be raised in front of the city hall. Passers-by will have the opportunity to adorn themselves with martenitsa, symbolizing health, luck, and strength for the upcoming year.

Rooted in ancient tradition, the practice of wearing martenitsi on March 1st predates Christianity, symbolizing the transition from winter to spring. In Bulgaria, the sale of martenitsa bracelets generates significant profits, amounting to 15 million euros annually, as reported by AFP. In Chicago, the enthusiasm for martenitsa crafting is palpable, with every Bulgarian school or association hosting workshops for bracelet production.

As part of the upcoming "BULGARIAN CULINARY - CHICAGO '2024" competition, EuroChicago, in collaboration with the Bulgarian-American Association, will organize an exhibition of martenitsi, further highlighting the cultural significance of this cherished tradition. Entries and sponsorships for the competition are still being accepted, offering guests an opportunity to immerse themselves in Bulgarian culture and cuisine.

More information and photos from the "Martenitsa" project are on the EuroChicago website.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Culture » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: martenitsa, tradition, Chicago, Bulgarian

Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria