Nollaig na mBan

 Nollaig na mBan – also known as Little Christmas or the Feast of the Three Kings or the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on 6th January – the Twelfth Day of Christmas. The traditions associated with Nollaig na mBan are peculiarly Irish and the most well-known one is the taking down of the Christmas Decorations. In my family we have always kept that tradition with the belief that to take them down earlier is bad luck and to leave them up later is even more bad luck!

Last year my ICA Federation had an afternoon lunch to celebrate so I had a look for as many traditions as possible. Here are the ones I found but I would love if you could send me any ones you know of.

  • Take down the Christmas Decorations
  • Clean out the ashes and start a new fire in the hearth
  • Save Holly from the decorations – it will be burned on Shrove Tuesday to cook the pancakes
  • Women meet friends to drink tea and finish the Christmas Cake
  • Women have a day off from housework and the men take over for the day
  • Have the floor swept and a bucket of clean water ready before going to bed – but the water should never be used next morning

So do you have other customs that you know about? I find it interesting that so many of the traditions still assume that women on a \”day off\” will still do things like sweeping the floor and bringing in water!

Here is a photo of some of my ICA friends at our Nollaig na mBan celebration last year.

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