St. Distaff Day
Partly work and partly play
You must on St. Distaff's Day.
From the plough soon free your team,
Then come home and fodder them.
If the maids a-spinning go,
Burn the flax and fire the tow.
Scorch their plackets, but beware
That ye singe no maiden-hair;
Bring in pails of water then,
Let the maids bewash the men.
Give St. Distaff all the right:
Then bid Christmas sport good-night,
And next morrow every one
To his own vocation.
Robert Herrick (thewidowweeds.blogspot.com, 1/7/12)
What pray tell is St. Distaff Day?
St. Distaff Day is an ancient holiday, observed on January 7, after of the work of Christmas was over. After celebrating, they returned to their normal chores of daily living. The women tended the home and the spinning; the men tended the land and the plows. The name Distaff comes from the tool used in spinning fiber into thread and was a symbol of female industry.
|The distaff stores the thread spun with the spindle.|
|Wheel from Wales, Note the distaff.|
|Karen's Welsh wheel has two flyers|
The Spinners from the Craft Guild of Iowa City gather together to rejoice, "We Are Spinners." Unlike in ancient days, this is not labor per se, but a labor of love. Our celebration this year was an equipment rodeo, shared repast with that tasty dessert ending. Check out these example of equipment. It was a simple sharing of good times at the wheel or the spindle.
|Grace using the spindle cradle.|
And a merry time was had by all.