The Rave Reviews Book Club is an online book club of more than 500 independent authors and readers. One of the programs sponsored by the book club is honoring an author as the SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR for one week. Part of that program is a book blog tour featuring the honored author on several blog sites. I am honored today to be hosting the book tour for SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR Ronesa Aveela.
Following is Ronesa’s post:
A Thread of Hope
Kalyna took the amulet off her ankle and wrapped it around Stefan’s wrist. “The martenitsa is given to others as a sign of friendship. It has the power to protect people from evil. The two colors have special meanings. White is for purity, honesty, and clarity. Red is symbolic of blood, life, passion, and love.”
The above is an excerpt from “Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey” (Chapter: “A Thread of Hope”).
Bulgarian culture is rich in folklore and traditions surviving since the days of the ancient Thracians. As pagan and Christian religions collided, the celebrations merged into one.
“Mystical Emona” introduces readers to these ancient Thracian customs, rituals, and traditions that have survived through the centuries.
Today, we’d like to talk about martenitsa (Bulgarian: мартеница). It’s an amulet or bracelet made of red and white yarn that symbolizes the arrival of spring.
This tradition dates back to Thracian times to welcome spring. Orpheus is said to have decorated his harp with such an item. After the long, dark winter, people are ready to awaken, to see the sunlight again and are full of hope and expectations. The colors on the martenitsa also date back to ancient times. Red is the symbol of the sun’s rays, as it becomes more intensive with the coming spring. White is the snow melting away. The two tassels twisted together provided both humans and livestock protection from the evil forces of the dying winter.
Bulgarians begin to wear martenitsi (plural) on March 1 (Baba Marta or Granny Marta Day). They continue to wear them until March 9, March 25, or when they see a stork, sparrow, cuckoo, or blossoming tree. At that point, people remove the bracelet and tie it to a tree to ensure good health and luck throughout the year.
March 25, Blagovets, is a special holiday. Anelia’s family ties them to an apple tree in their backyard. They started this tradition fifteen years ago. The tree looks like it’s covered with flowers. The red and white amulets dance in the cold winter wind like butterflies and remind them Spring is returning, bringing with it prosperity and hope for a better life.
“Mystical Emona” was highlighted on October 9 at Boston University during an event called “Bulgarian Voices: Love, Light and Rituals.” It is also available on Amazon US and UK. In addition, we are working on a non-fiction book that will describe many of these Bulgarian customs and others in more detail, as well as their Thracian origins. Look for it in December.
Mystical Emona is a collaborative effort by Anelia Samovila and Rebecca Carter.
Anelia is a freelance artist and writer who lives near Boston, MA. She likes writing mystery romance inspired by legends and tales. In her free time she paints. Her artistic interests include the female figure, folklore tales, and the natural world interpreted through her eyes. Anelia visited Emona and the Black Sea in 1998. She was inspired to use her brushes and pen to depict the beauty of Mystical Emona and the characters, born from the experience she had in this place. She is married and has two children, a dog and a cat.
Rebecca is a writer who lives in southern NH. She is an avid reader who has traveled around the world seeking adventure and knowledge of other cultures. Linguistics has inspired her since her initial study of Latin. But, mostly, she is known for her baking ability.
Following are the links to Ronesa Aveela and her book:
Book available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Emona-Souls-Journey-Volume/dp/1500616974
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBQ7FJtb9vY