Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Women's Christmas 6th January



Today is Women’s Christmas or Little Christmas which has many different names including ‘Nollaig na mBan’ in Irish. It has been a long-standing tradition in the West of Ireland, particularly in counties Cork and Kerry, when women celebrate the end of the Christmas season. The festive decorations are down, the long season of preparation and cooking is over and the women folk gather together to have a celebratory meal. Nollaig na mBan is also celebrated in Newfoundland which has a strong affinity with Ireland and in some states of the United States of America where the tradition was kept alive by Irish immigrants.

On this day it is the tradition in Ireland that men stay at home minding children & doing housework whilst the woman take it easy and celebrate together. In the past children bought or made their mothers and grandmothers presents to be given on this day, rather than Mother's Day. 

The fascinating thing about Nollaig na mBan is that, rather than dying out like so many other traditions, its popularity has begun to grow and it is now being celebrated across the country. Women in Dublin organize lunches for their women friends, the women of Offaly, Limerick, Laois , Sligo and Westmeath are meeting in their own homes for meals and gatherings. Women only ‘get-togethers’ are being organized all over the place and long may it continue!

Happy Nollaig na mBan (pronounced null-ag na man) to all readers!


14 comments:

  1. Sounds rather like a sex reversal of Saturnalia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely nothing of the kind Simon.
      Today for the Women of Ireland it is a day of rest and chance for them to get together with other women.

      Delete
  2. That's interesting, we learn something new everyday. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like it. Somehow I have to introduce this to the farmer before next Christmas arrives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know Pat I rather think it is that you want the Farmer to do the housework, much more than you celebrating the day - of course I might be wrong :) ?

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful celebration. Without knowing the occasion, friends and I celebrated last night in a wonderful meal and conversation late into the night. I did seem like a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Toni, I would say that you're gathering last night was unconsciously synchronised and that you might think of making it an annual event ?

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Nothing new under the Sun just an old Irish tradition for women.

      Delete
  6. Well, well, Inever knew that! Hats off to the Irish for recognising the amount of work the Christmas season involves and how much of it is done by women. A fitting day of rest for women of all ages! Long may this tradition persist for it is one that should stay!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for your very enjoyable comment Val :)
    The 6/7th January is also the date of Christmas for the coptic, and orthodox churches i.e. Egyptian Coptic and Greek, Russian, Serbian Orthodox etc.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a lovely idea and its revival of course. My partner is actually a better housekeeper than me and i am happy to let him do it;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment Thelma.
      I think that I need to clarify: that this custom has not been revived it has been ongoing for several hundred years and what is happening now is that it is spreading.

      Delete

Your comments are a welcome addition to the activity of this blog however,the use of swear words is not permitted.