Little Christmas, or Nollaig Bheag in Irish, is one of the traditional names in Ireland for January 6, more commonly known in the rest of the world as the Epiphany. It is so called because it was, until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the day on which Christmas Day was celebrated in Roman Catholic countries. It is the traditional end of the Christmas season and the last day of the Christmas holidays for both primary and secondary schools in Ireland.[1] The name Little Christmas is also found other languages, including Slovenian, where it is known as Mali Božič, and Galician, which refers to it as Nadalinho.

Women's Christmas

Little Christmas is also referred to as Women's Christmas (Nollaig na mBan in Irish), or sometimes even Women's Little Christmas. It is so called because of the tradition, which is still very strong in Cork, of Irish men taking on all the household duties for the day and giving their spouses a day off.[2] Most women will either hold parties or go out to celebrate the day with their friends, sisters, mothers, aunts etc. Bars and restaurants usually have a majority female clientele on this night. Children often buy presents for their mothers and grandmothers, and it closely resembles Mother's Day in this respect.

While originally a rural tradition, in recent years, Women's Christmas is enjoying something of a revival, both in Ireland and abroad. It is becoming popular in the Irish emigrant communities in Britain, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. For the Irish Women's Network of British Columbia, Canada, for example, this event is the highlight of their social calendar.[3]

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