Friday, January 7, 2011

The Official End Of The 12 Days...!

I guess we can officially call the holidays over and done now.

The end of the "12 Days of Christmas",known as the Epiphany, was yesterday...and that makes today "Distaff Day". For those of you that don't know what that is (like me) I have a brief explanation for ya!

Distaff Day

The day after Epiphany (January 6) was traditionally the one on which women went back to work after the 12-day Christmas celebration. A distaff is the wooden rod (staff) that holds the flax or wool on a spinning wheel. The term distaff came to refer to both women’s work and the female branch (distaff side) of the family. The women’s husbands did not go back to work until the following Monday (see below), so they would mischievously try to set fire to the flax on their wives’ distaffs, while the women, lying in wait, would douse them with buckets of water.

The English poet Robert Herrick wrote:

If the maids a-spinning goe
Burn their flax and fire their tow.
Bring the pails of water then
Let the maids bewash the men.

I'm not exactly sure just why the women had to go back to work, while the men got off until the next Monday. Guess that's one of those many mysteries I never found the answer to.

Seems to be a lot of those around.

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen as it's still too chilly to go on the patio and sit!


Bustednuckles said...

Hopefully the women loved ya enough to leave a pot of coffee goin for ya as they left.

HermitJim said...

Hey Busted...
I think the problem was most of them worked at home at that time!

Sure made keeping a close eye on the menfolk a lot easier for them!

Hey, I sure do appreciate you coming by today!

Baby Sis said...

Bubba -
Glad to see you online this am. I know yesterday was a rough one, I'll be by in a little bit - my turn for a while.

Big ugs -

Mechanic in Illinois said...

Neat lesson today. I hope your mom is feeling better. Don't run yourself down either. Take care and have a great friday.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Hope your Mom is doing well, keep us updated, we do care. Good history lesson today, I had no idea so learned a lot.

Momlady said...

Always knew women worked more than men. Why the men would try to burn the flax is beyond me. They deserved to get soaked. Hope your mom is doing better and that you can get some well deserved rest.

Beth said...

Just goes to prove that it is a man's world (always was and always will be).
I do love and appreciate you, Bubba, for your blogs and your devotion to Mom. I am not there to help but I hope you know I am just a phone call (and several hours travel time) away.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sis...
Finally got her in the hospital, so let's hope they can make her better!

Running slow this morning, that's for sure.

See ya later...and thanks for coming by!

Hey Mechanic...
I think it's just that time of the year for many to be sick. Mak3es you feel very blessed to be mostly healthy, ya know?

Hey, thanks for the visit today, my friend!

Hey Dizzy...
I got her back in the hospital, so we'll see what happens!

At Mom's age, we just have to be careful, ya know?

Thanks for the concern and for coming by today!

Hey Momlady...
Beats me why it happened that way!

Seems a little harsh to burn the flax, but no one ever said we men were smart!

I really appreciate you coming by today!

Hey Sis...
That's probably more true in the past than it is today!

Everyone knows that today, women rule the world even if it is often behind the scenes.

Hey, many thanks for coming by today! Love ya!

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Diane-Sage Whiteowl said...

It is a sad thing that we do not practice that 12 days off to be with family/friends...or what ever.
Thanks for sharing this...I learned something new today! :)

Missy said...

Glad to see you posting! It's a shame that we can't take off that many days for the season anymore...silly bills get in the way!
Enjoying my coffee inside since its a little bit negative temps out on my porch this morning.

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane-Sage...
Sometimes it would be good to celebrate the older customs for a while, I think!

Best way to keep tradition alive, is to actually practice and pass it on, right?

Thanks for dropping in today!

Hey Missy...
When the temps get that low...inside is the best place to be!

I really do appreciate you coming by today!

Marjie said...

Oh, come on. Who's kidding whom? Women are never really not working, at least as long as they're married, especially with children. After all, who's bothered by the dirty floor, the man or his wife? I rest my case. So I think they went back to work to rest up from their vacations!