Let me introduce this year’s batch of martenitsas – whole peanut hedgehogs. The idea belongs to Eli – KROKOTAK just took the pictures. These lovely little hedgehogs are bound to bring joy to the people who’ll receive them.

To make them, you need a piece of faux fur or plush fabric and some unshelled peanuts (choose ones that are a little ‘perky’ in one end – this will make them even cuter).

Cut out a piece of faux fur and sew it around the peanut shell. Draw the eyes and mouth with nail polish. Add some red and white mushrooms from fabric scraps and glue them to the ‘spines’ of the hedgehog. Decorate with a martenitsa instead of a ribbon.

What is ‘martenitsa’?

In Bulgarian folklore the month of March is often portrayed as a plump, cheerful old lady, “baba Marta”. The 1st day of her reign is celebrated with red and white ornaments in various designs – as bracelets, brooches, pom-poms… 
The origins of this ritual are lost in time, but the meaning is clear – they are luck charms you give away to wish good health (and good looks, too!) Friends, family, even pets and domestic animals get one.They are also a countdown to spring – you wear them every day until you see the first stork, or swallow, or blossoming tree. Then you take themartenitsa off and tie it to a branch.