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Culture Folklore East Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Rhodope

Babo on her cart
(Photo: Mina Macheropoulou)

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14/2/2006
Babo

Mina Machairopoulou
Source: CETI
© Eastern Macedonia - Thrace Region
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Babo?s celebration is a female one in Thrace and other regions in Northern Greece, where refugees from Eastern Romilia and Thrace settled in. It is devoted to the midwife and performed on the 8th of January, on the day that St. Domna is also celebrated. It is called ?Gynecocracy?.
During this day women take over male roles while men are ridiculed and restricted to housewive/female roles.
This women?s fest gives the opportunity for ghlendi, meaning dance, drinking and treats along with wishes for childbearing, health, a good year and field crops.
Women dress Babo and offer her as gift a basket with handkerchieves, socks, slippers, soap and towel. The festive decorated cart with Babo on and the rest of the women accompanying her, go around the village while they are waving and wishing a sweet happy new year along with giving candies.
The ghlendi that follows lasts until the morning at the squares, cafes and streets of the village and is always performed by women. Food, wine, pies and other foods are offered plenteously to everyone watching.