Midwives’ Day is one of the greatest female folk festivals celebrated in Bulgaria. It is dedicated to the “grandmothers” – women who help in childbirth. Rituals on this day are mainly an expression of the desire to demonstrate respect for them.
Ivan Simeonov, a Bulgarian, who works for the Dallas Certified Translation Agency, The Marketing Analysts, tells us the following about this ritual: “Even before sunrise, mothers with children from one to three years of age place a sprig of basil or geranium in a pot of water, take a bar of soap and a new towel and head to the place of their “Grandma” – the midwife who assisted them to pour the water for her to wash. This ritual is carried out under a fruit tree in the garden, on the chopping-log or in front of the stairs. Every woman gives the “grandma” a bar of soap, pours her water to wash and gives her a new towel as a present. The “Grandma” gives the young mother a bunch of geraniums tied with “martenici” – red and white thread. Often the “grandma” throws water with her hands up and jump three times, saying: “Let the kids be joyful and lively, let them become white and red! As many drops fall as much prosperity and good health!”
After that women present the “Grandma” with shirts, socks, canvas, which they put on her right shoulder. In turn, the “Grandma” ties on the right hand of the children the birth of who she has assisted a red and white thread with a silver coin and also gives them socks and shirts. At noon brides and young mothers gather for a festive feast at the home of the midwife. Each woman brings a fresh loaf of bread, pies, boiled or roasted chicken and a wooden vessel with brandy or wine. Kisses the hand of her grandmother and gives her the food tray. The daughters and the daughters-in-law of the midwife arrange a long and rich table around which all present sit. “ Then, in the opinion of a Baltimore Translation Services worker, the cheerful feast is accompanied by songs, dances and sometimes quite uncensored jokes and scenes.