In short

In the mythology Romanian, Baba Dochia, or Old Dokia, is a figure identified with the return of spring. She is sometimes imagined as "an old woman who insults the month of March when she goes out with a flock of sheep or goats." Supposedly, the name comes from the Byzantine calendar, which celebrates the 2nd-century holy martyr Eudokia of Heliopolis (Evdokia) on March 1. The Romanian Dokia personifies the impatience of humanity waiting for the return of spring.

Baba Dochia

Baba Dochia, the return of Spring

Baba Dochia has a son, called Dragomir, who is married. Dochia mistreats her daughter-in-law by sending her to pick berries in the forest at the end of February. God appears to the girl in the form of an old man and helps her in her task. When Dochia sees the berries, she thinks that spring has returned and leaves for the mountains with her son and her goats. 

She is dressed in twelve lambskins, but it rains on the mountain and the skins become wet and heavy. Dochia has to get rid of the skins and when the frost comes, she perishes from the cold with her goats. His son freezes to death with a piece of ice in his mouth while playing the flute.

Another version of this story is that Dragobete marries a girl against the wishes of Baba Dochia. Angry at her son's decision, she sends her daughter-in-law to wash black wool in the river and tells her not to return until the wool has turned white. The girl tries to wash it, but the wool does not change color. 

Desperate and with her hands frozen by the cold water of the river, the young girl begins to cry, thinking that she will never be able to see her beloved husband again. Then Jesus sees her from heaven and feels sorry for her, so he gives her a red flower and tells her to wash the wool with it.

As soon as she washes the wool as Jesus said, it turns white and the girl goes home happily. When Baba Dochia hears about her story, she gets angry and thinks that spring has arrived, since the man (whom the girls did not recognize as Jesus) was able to give her a flower. She leaves for the mountains dressed in nine coats. 

As the weather changes quickly on the mountain, she begins to shed her coats, one by one, until she is left without a coat. But as soon as she drops her last coat, the weather changes again and Baba Dochia is frozen on the mountain.

myth popular associates the 9 days from March 1 to March 9 with the 9 coats that she loses. His spirit haunts every year around this time, bringing snowstorms and cold before spring sets in. Women used to choose a day from these 9 in advance, and if the day turns out to be right, they will old days, and if the day turns out to be cold, they will become bitter as they age. In Romanian, “babel” is the plural of “baba”, the witch or the old woman.

In other sources, Dochia was the daughter (or sister) of Decebalus, king of the Dacians. When the Roman emperor Trajan conquered part of the Dacian territory, Dochia took refuge in the Carpathian mountains to avoid marrying him. She disguises herself as a shepherd and her people as a flock. When she realizes there is no escape, she asks the supreme Dacian god Zamolxes to turn her and her flock into stone, becoming Babele.

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Today, the descendants of the Dacian and Thracian peoples (Romanians, Bulgarians, etc.) celebrate Baba Dochia or Baba Marta. The Martenitsi festival marks the world's impatience for the return of spring. Custom dictates that the cantankerous grandmother must be appeased for spring to triumph. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar 1TP5Q1March #roumamie #bulgaria #babadochia #babamarta


Baba Dochia