Sunday, January 07, 2007

St Distaff Day!

I never need a reason to sit and spin...but did you know there's a holiday for spinners?? Today is St. Distaff day....or click HERE and HERE for more history!

In England, as well as other countries the days from Christmas through Twelfth Night were considered a time of rest from the labors of spinning. The maidens returned to their work on St. Distaff's Day, January 7th. This day was also known as Rock Day, which is derived from the German word rocken, which means both distaff and woman's. Thus we get the expression "spinning on the rock" which many historians have erroneously confused with a place instead of a day.

Although the maidens resumed their work on St. Distaff's Day, the ploughboys did not return until the Monday following Twelfth -Night. They used this discrepancy to no good by playing pranks on the busy spinners. Most traditional of these was to set fire to the tow and flax which was awaiting processing. The spinners in turn would quench the fire with buckets of water, drenching both fire and firebug.

I know how paranoid I am of moths in my fiber room...I can only imagine what would happen to some idiot "prankster" coming at my fiber with fire! I have my baseball bat bucket of water at the ready!

Well...gotta get ready for my walk!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'


Krista said...

I've always wondered what St. Distaff day was. Thanks for the lesson!

Operakatz said...

Totally cool! Happy Distaff Day! I never knew what it was...

Aprilynne said...

Hmmm, weird, I think the chic in the painting is my cousin. I never heard any of that history before, very interesting.