The day of Babo

The day of Babo is one of the customs that occur in many regions of Evros. It is related to the fertility festivals of the ancient Greece according to folklorists, while it shows respect and honour to the older women. Babo means the old woman, the old lady of the village.

The day of Babo is celebrated on January 8, on the celebration of Saint Dominique. Due to her experience, Babo was the one helping with the birth of the village’s children; she was a beloved and respectable person.

On the day of Babo, this particular old lady is dressed up and welcomes to her house all the women of the village that gave birth the year that passed. They offer her towels and shoes, to wipe her hands and to go from one house to another and help women give birth. Babo, with her turn, treats the women goodies and the custom begins.

Then, on the day of Babo, women along with Babo go to the village’s fountain, where each one washes her hands. The celebration closes at the village’s coffee shop, where all women have fun together.

The day of Babo used to be celebrated in North and East Thrace while the custom is also called “Babo Den”, “Babou Gkiounou” or “Babotera”.

Today, the custom revives in Nea Vissa and other villages of the Northern Evros.

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