Daily webcast

Bulgarian National Radio © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Important rituals and merriment are part of Babinden

Photo: BTA

Babinden is one of the biggest national holidays dedicated to women. It is an integral part of the triad of Voditsi, together with Epiphany and Ivanovden (Day of St. John the Baptist) - related to the health and purifying power of the water, on which ritual bathing is performed. But only the "grandmother" - the village midwife or elderly woman who helps women during labor bathes on Babinden.

The holiday has distant Proto-Slavic roots. Rituals related to the custom have been lost over the years, but the day is full of laughter and joy.

Like many folk holidays, Babinden is celebrated on two dates - January 8 according to the new style calendar and January 21 according to the old style.

Unlike Epiphany and St. John's Day, which are major holidays in both the church and the folk calendar, Babinden is entirely pagan. It is curious that when the Bulgarian Orthodox Church adopted the Gregorian calendar and the church holidays were shifted by 13 days, the same happened to Babinden. In some villages people started celebrating it on the new date, but in many places they kept the old one - January 21, which is celebrated today as Midwives’ Day in Bulgaria. Read more about the traditions of Babinden in an article from the rich collection of Radio Bulgaria.

Compiled by: Albena Bezovska

More from category

With Kichka Savova’s songs - a real celebration of Bulgarian folklore

"Throughout the year, the village of Sladun is like a streamlet but in the days of the festival it boils and rages like a big, full-flowing river" - this is a successful comparison of Nadia Shtergova, secretary of "Izgrev - 1928" Community..

published on 8/2/21 4:10 PM

The colorful world of Bulgarian embroidery exhibited in Samokov

In the middle of summer, the mountain resort of Borovets welcomes its guests with its well-marked paths that lead to the secrets of the Rila Mountains. But if you want to combine your mountain vacation with cultural tourism, we recommend visiting..

published on 7/27/21 4:37 PM

Folklore festival "In the heart of Graovo" gathers fans of folk traditions

F ans of folk music gathered near the Tsurnogorski M onastery (Giginski Monastery) in Western Bulgaria for the third edition of the folklore festival "In the heart of Graovo". The Philip K o utev National  F olk E nsemble..

published on 7/3/21 3:04 PM