Now is a period of the year with many opportunities for crafts. We have just finished wearing handmade carnival masks and costumes, a week ago we celebrated the Clean/Ash Monday with flying handmade kites and today on March, and today we weave and immediately wear red&white bracelets which symbolize the coming of spring and which will protect us from “being burnt by the sun” or “an evil eye”. These bracelets have to be worn at least till the end of March. Some take them off with the appearance of the first swallows and leave them on the branches so the swallows can use them for nest building, some take them off during Easter at the Resurrection or some just wear them as long as they last, usually till they disappear during one of the sea baths.
Nowdays this tradition is still very much cherished in the Balkans but it probably dates as far as the Eleusian Mysteries rituals of Ancient Greece and it reached us carried on through time and places with many interesting variations. Here in Greece this little charming bracelet of great powers is called either with a masculine name “Martis” (Ο Μάρτης) or a feminine name “Martia” (Η Μαρτιά) as related to the month of March which in Greek is “Martis” (Μάρτης).
I have found a nice video tutorial of how to make such a bracelet (martenitsa) posted by our neighboors in Bulgaria who also are very keen on wearing those. Please check it out! and maybe you will also end up wearing such a bracelet in celebration of spring and rememberance of Greece.
Today I have visited my friend Marina, one of those very talented “crafty” people, for a coffee and frankly, this time not only in search of an interesing conversation, but also out of curiosity for her new glamping project. She was wearing, of course, a “martis” bracelet, her own creation, which you see on the photos below. She makes all kinds of great jewlery and home decor…but this is only a tip of the iceberg…She and her husband run a very picturesque olive grove retreat “Agrikies” which so far consisted of traditional stone guest houses, playgrounds and chill out pool bar and restaurant serving top quality Greek an international cuisine, olive trees and lavenders. Now their guests will also have a choice of staying in brand new glamping tents. I will definetely dedicate some future posts exclusively to this one-of-a-kind place.