As I’ve gotten older, I still am curious about things that are new to me. Growing up, I only really knew of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Santa as the jolly big guy in red like on a Coke bottle. Over the years I’ve been paying more attention to little things. Sure I’ve heard the story “The Twelve Days of Christmas” but I never knew until recently that there’s more to that than just a cute song.
So the twelve days of Christmas refers to the time frame after Christmas, NOT before. Yah, I always thought it was before and then got confused about Advent calendars. According to Christian belief, Christmas day is the birthday for Jesus and twelve days later the wise men found him. That day, January 6th, is referred to as the Epiphany; meaning to reveal.
The nice thing about being curious is that there is so much to learn. Though all of the above is good to know, I was looking into this all because I was curious about a yarn day that I will be going to this year. It’s called Distaff Day. I’ve actually been before, my friends said it celebrates the day that women went back to work after Christmas. Completely confused, I decided to look it up. That’s when I learned it was all part of the twelve days of Christmas, sort of.
Okay, so it’s not really part the celebrations, but part of as in the day after the Epiphany. Most Christians will celebrate Christmas alone with gifts that day, some will celebrate by giving a gift on all twelve days, and some will just have a separate feast on the Epiphany. Pretty much everyone has these days off from school and work. Distaff Day takes root in the old tradition where women returned to their regular household chores twelve days after Christmas. Distaff Day is also about commemorating and celebrating women’s work in the home.
This day celebrates the distaff and what it symbolized during medieval times, namely the efforts and work of women in textile to society. Before the spinning wheel was invented in 1533, women used the distaff and the spindle to spin wool fibers or flax. A distaff is a tool used for holding unspun fibers, and women would freely wrap the fibers around it. A common method of handling a distaff was holding it under the arm when spinning or attaching it to a designated spinning wheel. Spinning today is more of a hobby rather than a necessary chore. As such, present day crafters have adopted this day not to return to work, but to gather together and share our love of crafting.
Modern celebrations are all about celebrating the fiber arts. Spinners, knitters, crocheters, weavers, and all other fiber art lovers come together for a day of fun and fellowship. There are demonstrations in each of these fiber areas, there are classes that go into more detail to learn a new skill, there are vendors that carry a wide variety of fiber products and accessories, there are donation stations for blankets, hats, and scarves, there is a fashion show / show and tell segment, and of course there is always making new fiber friends. It’s a day of fiber fun for everyone.
If you want to join, whether you know about fiber or want to learn, register at the link below for this year’s Distaff Day 2023 in Kissimmee on Saturday January 7th, 10:00am – 5:00pm.
Also, check out all our events around Central Florida!