The first step in washing the bed is to empty the "mattress" of its stuffing, sheep wool, and wash it. A large spot in the yard must be swept clean, and the wet wool is carried out on a large piece of plastic or a sheet. The ladies spread it out and then proceed to whip it with a thin rod.
Next, it is left to dry for a few hours. Some ladies leave, but others seem to be concerned that something could happen and sit out there all afternoon, watching the wool carefully.
Finally, comes time to make the bed. All of that wool has to be stuffed back into the mattress.
The last step is to take what looks like a huge sack of wool is sewn into a beautiful, neat mattress.
Needless to say, this is an incredibly difficult and time consuming process. I'm very thankful for our western-style mattresses!
One morning last week I was commenting to one of my neighbors that we don't have the this tradition in the US. She looked at me kind of oddly and said in an incredulous tone, "Oh, do you just throw away your mattresses every year?"