Time to put away those holiday decorations and return to spinning — and knitting — and weaving — and hooking — and celebrating the joy of being together! Join the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County on Saturday, January 8 to Celebrate St. Distaff Day from 10am -3pm at the Hjemkomst Center. Otherwise known as Rok Day, in pre-industrial Europe many of the agricultural and household chores that marked the turning of the seasons attached themselves to Saints’ days. All across Europe, for example, people slaughtered animals and celebrated the harvest on St. Martin’s Day. In England, folk tradition carried this tendency one step further, inventing St. Distaff’s Day to mark women’s return to work after the Christmas holiday.
Bring your wheel, spindle, cards, weaving, bobbin lace, or any project you are working on.
The Fiber Arts Guild will have a beef stew and veggie chili potluck. Bring your own beverage and favorite snack or side to go with it, or bring your own lunch.
According to The Free Dictionary, “St. Distaff’s Day traditionally fell on January 7, the day after Epiphany. On this day, folk tradition advised women to return to the daily chores they had put aside during the twelve days of Christmas. Before the invention of factory-made cloth, the task of spinning constituted perhaps the most representative of all female chores. Women of all ages, ranks, and incomes spun thread. Thus, English folk tradition commemorated women’s return to work on the day after Epiphany by inventing a joke holiday called St. Distaff’s Day. There never was a saint named Distaff. The word “distaff” refers to one of the principal tools women used in spinning, a rod upon which flax or wool was tied and out of which thread was pulled. This tool was also known as a ‘rok,’ hence the day was also known as ‘Rok Day.’”
Regular admission to the museum will be charged. Adults $10, Seniors and College Students $9, youth $8, children under five free. HCSCC members always get in free.