January 22, 2013
Bulgaria Honors Midwife Day, Keeps Alive Purely Local Rites
Midwife Day or in Bulgarian Babin Den, is a purely Bulgarian holiday. The name Babin Den comes from the Bulgarian word “baba”, which means old woman or grandmother because in the past old women have been the village midwives, helping the younger ones to give birth. (Den means day in Bulgarian.)
Babin Den is a day to show respect and gratitude to those, who have helped women become mothers. The celebration has pagan roots, but has remained a significant holiday all through Bulgarian history, especially during the Bulgarian Renaissance.
On Babin Den, at dawn, mothers of toddlers and babies go to the village fountain to get fresh water. They take the water along with a bar of soap and a new towel to the midwife’s house to do a rite washing of her hands. The women hand the midwife the soap, help her wash her hands and offer her the towel as a gift. The midwife wipes her hands in the young women’s skirts so that they can bear many children and give birth easily.
The midwife also receives as gifts shirts and socks, which the mothers throw over her right shoulder. On her part, she gives the children she helped deliver a silver coin, socks and shirts. She also washes the children’s faces with the water, which once being used by the midwife, is believed to have purifying powers.
It was further believed that in order for the delivery to go without problems, the midwife needed to light a float light, close all the windows and untie everything in the house that was tied. The delivery itself was kept secret from everyone with the exception of the midwife and the mother-in-law. The new mother was not allowed to get out of bed or to stay alone until the child was baptized.
In the evening, all midwives sit down to a generous table. Men are not allowed to join the festivities and hardly would anyone dare breach the rule. (via Novinite.com)

Bulgaria Honors Midwife Day, Keeps Alive Purely Local Rites

Midwife Day or in Bulgarian Babin Den, is a purely Bulgarian holiday. The name Babin Den comes from the Bulgarian word “baba”, which means old woman or grandmother because in the past old women have been the village midwives, helping the younger ones to give birth. (Den means day in Bulgarian.)

Babin Den is a day to show respect and gratitude to those, who have helped women become mothers. The celebration has pagan roots, but has remained a significant holiday all through Bulgarian history, especially during the Bulgarian Renaissance.

On Babin Den, at dawn, mothers of toddlers and babies go to the village fountain to get fresh water. They take the water along with a bar of soap and a new towel to the midwife’s house to do a rite washing of her hands. The women hand the midwife the soap, help her wash her hands and offer her the towel as a gift. The midwife wipes her hands in the young women’s skirts so that they can bear many children and give birth easily.

The midwife also receives as gifts shirts and socks, which the mothers throw over her right shoulder. On her part, she gives the children she helped deliver a silver coin, socks and shirts. She also washes the children’s faces with the water, which once being used by the midwife, is believed to have purifying powers.

It was further believed that in order for the delivery to go without problems, the midwife needed to light a float light, close all the windows and untie everything in the house that was tied. The delivery itself was kept secret from everyone with the exception of the midwife and the mother-in-law. The new mother was not allowed to get out of bed or to stay alone until the child was baptized.

In the evening, all midwives sit down to a generous table. Men are not allowed to join the festivities and hardly would anyone dare breach the rule. (via Novinite.com)

August 16, 2011
German boy, 11, calls police over housework
A boy of 11 called a German police emergency line to complain of “forced labour” after his mother told him to help clean the home.
Police say the boy from Aachen, who has not been identified, spoke to an officer via the 110 number.
They say he complained: “I have to work all day long. I haven’t any free time.”
His mother told the officer the boy had kept threatening to call them, having repeatedly complained of having to do housework during the school holidays. (via BBC News)

German boy, 11, calls police over housework

A boy of 11 called a German police emergency line to complain of “forced labour” after his mother told him to help clean the home.

Police say the boy from Aachen, who has not been identified, spoke to an officer via the 110 number.

They say he complained: “I have to work all day long. I haven’t any free time.”

His mother told the officer the boy had kept threatening to call them, having repeatedly complained of having to do housework during the school holidays. (via BBC News)

August 8, 2011
UK: Sand, sea and stock
Pat Tate, third from right, and her family at their beach hut in Southwold on the Suffolk coast. Dr Tate has holidayed there for the past 45 years, first with her children and now with her 10 grandchildren. (via guardian.co.uk)

UK: Sand, sea and stock

Pat Tate, third from right, and her family at their beach hut in Southwold on the Suffolk coast. Dr Tate has holidayed there for the past 45 years, first with her children and now with her 10 grandchildren. (via guardian.co.uk)

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