Old ladies -Babele

March is here, already passed almost three months of this year. It is time to choose a Babă. I hope this time will be a kind one. In this part of the year, the weather can be a bit nasty, sunny and warm, or with rain and snow. Many will ask what is a babă. For those, that don’t know I will write this.
Babe, is the word that means old ladies in Romanian. We celebrate that at the beginning of March. On the first day of March, you can choose a day from 1-9 to be your old lady- or better said your “babă”. Depending on how the day looks, people may know your character or you can try to find out how your year will look. If you don’t want to choose you can pick it by calculating your birthday for example if you are born on 1 will be one if you are born on 21, for example, will be 2+1=3 so it will be 3.
If the day that you have chosen will be warm and nice then your year will be nice and so your character.
If there will be a cold gray day then your year won’t be that nice and so you. On the other hand, if there will be rain or snow then you will have a good wealthy year. Rain and snow mean a wealthy year. The old ladies are considered to be the ones that fight against spring in some traditions. In some for sure that they are easy to change their minds and so does the weather. What is for sure is that in time usually, the weather can be one day nice and warm like a spring day and the next day can be like a real winter. One of the old ladies is considered to be Dochia, the one that heralds the arrival of winter. I will tell one of the stories related to Dochia. It is said that Baba Dochia had a son named Dragobete( we celebrate it on 24 February and is the Romanian holiday equivalent of Valentine’s day). So the story goes like this, Dragobete marries against his mom’s wishes. (Well, it happens). The mothers-in-law are like Dochia, or at least most of them. They try the same as Dochia to do all they can to make their daughter-in-law suffer…So Dochia has a new idea about how to sting a little her daughter in law. Dochia sent her daughter-in-law to the river with some black wool and tells her not to return home before the wool will be white as milk. The girl goes to the river trying to wash the wool but fails to make it white …that is kinda hard to do because black can’t become white as much as you try except maybe with bleach…but at that time no bleach.
The girl began to cry, so God makes an intervention and give the girl a flower with which she has to wash the wool. In each story, someone has to do the dirty work, eh …
She washed the wool with the flower and there was the miracle. The wool became white to see the miracle, wool is made white (think I need a miracle) the girl returns home happy, Dochia sees the flower and thinks it’s spring so she goes to see herself. She wears a lot of new coats on the road, the story says there are 9. While she walks she feels warm so she starts to put them off. When Dochia reached the top of the mountain she had no coats. So she found herself caught in the cold rain with ice and freezing literally (probably a cold strong and good lesson for our times). The 9 coats are in Romanian mythology associated with the first days of March, giving rise to the myth of old women.


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