A flash of colour, natural or not, can really brighten up my day. So here are three colourful Bulgarian sights that put me in a good mood:
In March, Bulgarians exchange red and white martenitsi (from the word ‘Mart’ for March) with friends and family to wish them good health and happiness. They then wear these on their clothing or around their wrists until they first see a stork, at which point they tie them to a blossoming tree.
Every so often as you walk around in Bulgaria, your eye is caught by a flash of red Martenitsi in a tree, which is lovely not only because it’s a bright and cheerful distraction but also because of the positive sentiment that they symbolise.
I cycle past loads of graffiti on my way to work and it’s ever-changing and can be really quite creative – like the chap who just last week decorated a number of the concrete hemispheres scattered throughout Sofia’s South Park as different birds. It really brightened up my morning!
There’s something about yellow flowers that just make me happy. Bulgaria’s therefore an ideal place for me because sunflowers make up just under a quarter of the plants grown in Bulgaria‘s agricultural sector (used for both seeds and oil), and they’re all blooming at the minute so my rather long trip to the beach last weekend was on a road lined pretty much all the way with fields full of yellow.
Incidentally, the word for sunflower in Bulgarian is ‘слънчоглед’ which means something about watching the sun – because their heads follow the sun as it moves across the sky. It’s nice to think that they always have a happy sight to look at too…