Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Nollaigh na mBan

I'm sure many of ye socks have heard (or even sung) the familiar carol that begins "Have yourself a merry little Christmas."

But, were you aware that "Little Christmas" is actually a special day in the calendar of Irish folklore?

Well, it is.

In celebrating the proverbial 12 days of Christmas, the last day is designated by the Irish as "Nollaigh na mBan" (in Gaelic) or "Little Christmas" (in English).

But, a more literal translation of the native name would be Women's Christmas.

That literal translation would be quite appropriate, given the way the day is celebrated.

Traditionally, the women of the family spend Nollaigh na mBan hitting the town, while the men are expected to tend to the household in their absence.

I guess, having spent weeks shopping, baking, cooking, etc., in preparation for the other 11 days of Christmas, the ladies are due at least one day to regroup!

So, have yourselves a merry Little Christmas!

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