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Life & Style

Nollaig na mBan – the day when women in Ireland traditionally take a well-deserved break

Nollaig na mBan is the ladies' official day off. Picture: rjnagle/Flickr
Nollaig na mBan is the ladies’ official day off. Picture: rjnagle/Flickr

TODAY marks the official end of the twelve days of Christmas – and traditionally it meant Irish women could finally put their feet up and relax.

January 6 is known as Little Christmas around the world but in Ireland, we call it Nollaig na mBan – or Women’s Christmas.

In the past, today is the day that the wives and mothers across Ireland would sit back while the fathers and sons would take care of the dinner and washing up.

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In times gone by, Irish women would use Nollaig na mBan to head down to the town and spend the money they earned by selling eggs from their chickens during the previous year.

And despite the remaining 364 days being fed and watered, some reluctant Irishmen dubbed the day Nollaig gan Mhaith – or No Good Christmas.

Though the tradition is now dying out, many parts of Cork report almost a 100 per cent female clientele every January 6.

Naturally, Irish people have taken to social media to discuss the day.

Have a look at some of the best tweets here…

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James Mulhall
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James Mulhall is a reporter with The Irish Post. Follow him on Twitter @JamzMulhall

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2 comments on “Nollaig na mBan – the day when women in Ireland traditionally take a well-deserved break”

  1. Sue Hubbard

    I am an English writer and just spent Women's Christmas down in Cill Rialaig, the artists'retreat in Kerry where we had a women only dinner. The article was disappointing in that it did not give the origin or age of this custom or describe how it came about in the first place. All of which I would have liked to know.

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  2. Sue Hubbard

    I am an English writer that spent Women's Christmas at the artists'retreat retreat Cill Rialaig where we had a women only dinner. The article failed to tell us about the history and origin of this custom and how it came about. Which I would have liked to know.

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