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Baba Dochia

by Samantha Anselmi di Cardano
In Romanian mythology, Baba Dochia, or The Old Dokia, is a name originating from the Byzantine calendar which celebrates the Martyr Evdokia on the 1st of March. The Romanian Dokia personifies mankind's impatience in waiting for the return of spring.

Baba Dochia has a son, called Dragobete or Dragomir, who is married. Dochia ill-treats her daughter-in-law by sending her to pick up berries in the forest at the end of February. God appears to the girl as an old man and helps her in her task. When Dochia sees the berries, she thinks that spring has come back and leaves for the mountains with her son and her goats. She is dressed with twelve lambskins, but it rains on the mountain and the skins get soaked and heavy. Dochia has to get rid of the skins and when frost comes she perishes from the cold with her goats. Her son freezes to death with a piece of ice in his mouth as he was playing the flute.

Dochia is sometimes depicted as a proud woman who teases the month of March, who in return gets its revenge by taking some days from February.

In other sources, Dochia was the daughter of Decebal, King of the Daces. When the Roman Emperor Trayan was conquering Romania, Dochia seeks refuge in the Carpathian Mountains in order to avoid marrying him. She disguises herself as a shepherd but she takes off her lambskin garments and freezes to death with her herd. She is transformed into a stream and her animals into flowers.


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