March, 1st is a much anticipated holiday, marking the coming of spring! The day is known as Baba Marta Day. Baba Marta or Granny March is a mythical figure from the Bulgarian folklore, who is believed to put an end to the reign of the winter. She is a feisty old lady whose mood swings very quickly. When she’s happy the weather is fine and when she’s cross it’s snowing. This is why the weather in March is so changeable.
Bulgarians celebrate their centuries-old tradition and exchange martenitsi (small pieces of adornment made of white and red yarn) on this day. The red and white interwoven strings are said to bring health and happiness during the year. Red symbolized life and white – purity. They are worn until the person sees a budding/blossomed tree, a stork or a sparrow. When you see those, you either tie your martenista to that blossomed tree or hide it under a rock. It is said that if you see the stork flying you will have a good year; if the stork is on the ground the year ahead won’t be so fortunate.
Don’t forget to give martenitsi to your loved ones this Sunday
This Saturday (28/02/15) Arbanasi will host celebrations to mark Todorovden for the 25th consecutive year. On Todorovden people with names like Todor and Theodore have their names celebrated; also according to old traditions many horse races are being organized throughout the country. The festivities in Arbanasi will start at 11 am in the village square. The organizers behind the celebrations have prepared 300 kebapcheta and 30 litres of wine for the visitors and are promising a day full of fun for everyone; there will be also a variety of activities and events. A local singing group will be performing live to keep the good spirits up.
Like previous years there will be a horse procession along the streets of the village. 26 beautiful horses will parade in front of the gathered audience; also an exquisite phaeton will be displayed. Gina the Pony will be there to make the youngest visitors happy. There will also be a contest for the most beautifully adorned horse.
The plans the Government had to build a high-speed road between Veliko Tarnovo and Ruse have changed. The Regional Development Minister, Lilyana Pavlova, announced last week that it was decided that a motorway will connect the towns. The planning process will start this year and the Road Infrastructure Agency will allocate 4 million leva of its budget to the project. If funding is secured the motorway could be ready as early as 2020 according to Pavlova.
The Government hopes to find financing under the Juncker Investment Plan. Further talks will be held with the European Investment Bank for the motorway project to be included in the future European transport corridors operational programme which is to replace the current Transit Roads V which is funded by the bank.
Initial plans for the Hemus Highway to pass 30 km away from Veliko Tarnovo have been abandoned and it is now official that the motorway will be built just 15 km away from Veliko Tarnovo. It will connect Varna with the capital Sofia and will run near the village of Polikraishte, north of V.T. A major junction will also be constructed; Hemus Highway will intersect there with the future Ruse – Veliko Tarnovo Motorway (for which I am going to tell you more in the next couple of days).
According to the Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova the change of the route is economically well-grounded – tourist flow, transit traffic to and from Europe through the Danube Bridge, as well as the airport in Gorna Oryahovitsa are the factors that tipped the balance in favour of the new route.
Municipality funded dog kennels will be opened near Veliko Tarnovo in June. They will host up to 250 canines. The construction of the kennels is expect to cost 100,000 euro . The premises are currently being finished – more shelters are being erected; each dog will have a doghouse of its own the shelters.
Six people will take care of the dogs once the place starts running – a veterinary doctor who will double as a manager and 5 dog carers. The premises were carefully chosen so that it conforms to the established requirements such as humane animal treatment, close proximity to town but at the same time distant enough so that the noise doesn’t cause inconvenience to the public. The kennels are hosted in a wooded area and have live guard.
The annual budget of kennels is set on 30,000 euro. Sick and aggressive stray dogs will be the first to be collected off the streets; they will be treated at the animal infirmary at the premises. Dogs will not be castrated though. Frequent adoption campaigns will be held and the kennels will also have a Facebook page.