Christmas is not over…

Are your decorations still up?  Is Christmas over and done with in your house for another year? If you answer yes, you are not a woman from Cork.

Here in Cork,  tomorrow, January 6th, is Women’s Little Christmas (Nollaig na mBan). Traditionally it is a day in which women are given the day off after all their hard work over Christmas and the men take on the chores. It is also the day most take down their decorations, in fact taking them down earlier is supposed to be bad luck. I’m not exactly sure what bad luck is to come your way if you risk doing it earlier, but I’m not taking any chances. However a day taking down decorations and men doing a couple of jobs around the house is not exactly a day worth celebrating so to finish it off women all over Cork go out. When I say they go out, I mean most bars and restaurants are packed with women. You would want to be a very brave man to try to join them.


Until I came to live in Cork I had never heard of Women’s little Christmas, but once here I thought it only right to do what the natives do. So with that in mind I’m all ready. Tomorrow I’ll push  lovingly kiss the kids goodbye as they leave for school  in the morning, pack my bag and reverse at speed out the path. For tomorrow a few of my fellow women friends and I  have decided the only way to really honour the day is to go away for the night.

Disappointingly we will have to postpone any thoughts of New Year diets, dry January and post Christmas blues for at least twenty four hours, but to keep an age old tradition alive we are willing to make the sacrifice.

(For your information a number of other counties in Ireland also celebrate Nollaig na mBan, but I’m not sure they will do it as well as we do.)

Fellow women, perhaps it’s a tradition you should consider honouring wherever you are?

Sláinte. I wish you all a very Happy Women’s little Christmas and I promise to share a toast for you all tomorrow, maybe even more than one!


Photo credit.

42 thoughts on “Christmas is not over…

  1. Now, I like the sound of that tradition. Mine aren’t down yet, usually on the sixth, but I don’t get a day off. I will do my best to promote this custom over here for next year. 🙂

  2. I think you meant “January 6th” as you wrote ‘December 6th’ Our decorations are up until tomorrow also- as that is when Christmas is officially over- the feast of the Epiphany- when the 3 kings (or Wise men) visited Jesus- I’ll have to tell my husband that custom in Cork, where the women get a day off, and the men do all the work– lol- I think he’d tell me, “That’s why we don’t live in Cork!” LOL… (And truth to tell, he did all the present shopping this year! He’s a keeper!)

    1. You’re a star. Thanks for pointing out my typo (fixed now) I’m obviously a little too much in the Christmas spirit.
      Yes my friend just messaged me asking me did I know the real reason Christmas is not over. It is of course the Epiphany.
      You’re husband sounds one in a million, although I think it would be a good thing for this tradition to spread. Have a toast for us on the quiet tomorrow. Happy women’s little Christmas to you.

    1. I was doing so well until I remembered your two drinks, and I couldn’t let you down.
      Cheers Colleen. I hope you enjoyed our celebration.

  3. Sounds like so much fun! We usually take our decorations down on the Sunday that our church celebrates Epiphany, this year Jan. 3, but we decided to leave them up longer because our tree is still doing well and not dropping needles. Although my husband does do a lot of the work of taking down the tree and lugging the storage boxes down to the basement, we don’t have the tradition of the women getting to go off and celebrate for Jan. 6. Maybe that is part of my Irish heritage that I need to reclaim!

    1. As a Dublinner I never thought I’d say it, but Cork really does have a lot going for it. 🙂 We’d a great time. Tell your wife we will make her an honorary away member of our group.

    1. I was listening on the radio and it’s also active in parts of Kerry and Clare from what I can gather. I must say it’s lovely and next year we are toying with bringing our older girls with us. What a night that would be.

    1. Oh C.J we were much cuter than that. We were able to walk the fifty feet back to our apartment. 🙂
      Thank you so much for the reblog.

  4. That’s a nice tradition. I try to help out with dishes and things, but the truth is that in my family too, my wife does end up doing a load of cooking. Maybe it’s another Christmas idea that should travel around the world.

    1. Christmas tidying up and cooking were far from our minds that night. It’s a fab night which can be measured by the fact that some of us, no names, even sang… using a microphone… in a full bar.

  5. What a fabulous tradition, and well earned too! I say get out there and enjoy yourself immensely 😀 My MIL is Irish, and I have never heard of this tradition, perhaps she doesn’t know about it?

    1. I wonder has she ever heard of it. As far as I can see it’s only done in a few of our counties. Luckily for me I live in one of them.

      1. Funny, I asked her last night about it because I remembered reading this post and she said she’d never heard of it! Luckily for you indeed 🙂 I hope you had a great time.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful tradition that was quashed by the men who traveled across the pond many years ago in an attempt to get away from all the women in the bars! Pitiful that we lost the tradition, and I move we get it going again! After all, a lot of our men folk aren’t Irish but are more than eager to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Just sayin’. Hope you had fun!

    1. Deb I think you’re onto something. If there is one thing we Irish do well, it’s enjoy ourselves. I definitely think it’s a tradition that needs to spread, even within Ireland there are some who have never heard of it.

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