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What's That Tree at Sutton's Trinity Square?

Hey Creative Heritage keepers! It's been a while since we graced you with a blog post, but we are back to share some exciting news with you.

Have you been strolling down Sutton High Street recently? Then you must have noticed a tree on Trinity Square, decorated in white and red fabric. Is it Christmas? No, of course not!

Martenitsa Tree on Trinity Square, Sutton by Creative Heritage

We decorated this tree to mark one of the oldest European traditions - Baba Marta Festival. Baba Marta Day, celebrated on March 1st, is a deeply cherished traditional holiday in Bulgaria and some other Eastern European countries, marking the eagerly awaited arrival of spring. The holiday is named after the mythical figure Baba Marta (Баба Марта), or "Grandmother March," who embodies the transition from the cold embrace of winter to the warmth of spring. This day is synonymous with joy, renewal, and the practice of exchanging martenitsi (мартеници), small ornaments made of red and white yarn.

Martenitsi can be designed in the form of bracelets, broaches, or even earrings! The red represents life and vitality, symbolising the energy and health that spring brings, while white stands for purity, joy, and the last of the melting snow. These adornments are exchanged as tokens of health and happiness among friends, family, and loved ones, and are traditionally worn until the arrival of spring is confirmed by the sighting of a stork, swallow, or the first blossoms on trees. The martenitsi are then tied to fruit-bearing trees as a wish for good health and prosperity. 

There's a lot more about the tradition and its origin, which you can read here if you are feeling inspired to learn something new.

On 3rd March, the Creative Heritage team and Bulgarian Folklore Choir "Maghiya" marked the Bulgarian National Holiday under the tree with some performances of traditional Bulgarian songs and dances.

On 8th March, the tree received some further adornments - 24 portraits of Inspirational women from different walks of life and countries. This was an initiative to celebrate International Women's Day and make all women of our borough feel seen and encouraged.

The big Martenitsa tree will take off its beautiful attire on 20th March - the Spring Equinox. But who knows what else we have planned for it? That shall remain a surprise until further notice.

In the meantime, there's one more important date for your diaries - 15th March is the day our performer registration form for Around the World Festival 2024 officially closes. That's right, talented people, we are back and we plan to throw a big bang this late May bank holiday!

Around the World Festival at Cryer Arts Theatre 2023

More about the festival will come in due course, but until then, we want you to help us reach as many local performers as you can. We have already received applications from groups and performers representing India, England, Cuba, Bulgaria, South Korea. We want to see even bigger diversity on our stage this summer, so please point all of your singing, dancing and acting friends to this link: Performer Registration Form Around The World Festival 2024. The deadline for registration is 15th March, 23:59!

I know you are just as eager as we are, but trust me when I say, Creative Heritage is bringing you a bucket of exciting and culturally-packed events this year!

Stay tuned and stay proud of your heritage!

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