Thursday, January 06, 2011

Nollaig na mBan -- and Happy Birthday to Donna !!

Great Article from Irish Time HERE

From Wiki --

Little Christmas (Irish: Nollaig Bheag) is one of the traditional names in Ireland for January 6, more commonly known in the rest of the world as the Celebration of the Epiphany. It is so called because it was the day on which Christmas Day was celebrated under the Julian calendar, before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar. 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]

In the Scottish Highlands the term Little Christmas (Scottish Gaelic Nollaig Bheag) is applied to Hogmanay, New Year's Day, also known as Là Challuinn, or Là na Bliadhna Ùire,[2] while Epiphany is known as Là Féill nan Rìgh, the feast of the King.[2]

The name Little Christmas is also found other languages including Slovene (mali Božič), Galician (Nadalinho), and Ukrainian.

Due to regional civic traditions and religious observance, Little Christmas (Epiphany) is often assumed to be Orthodox Christmas Day. In the switch from the Julian (Roman) calendar to the current Gregorian calendar, some regions and local governments did not make the 14 day calendar adjustment in holiday observances. Many Orthodox Chistians commemorate Christmas Day on the *previous" December 25th (January 7 on the current Gregorian Calendar). These Orthox Christians also celebrate Epiphany, but 14 days later than those following the current Gregorian Calendar. To make matters more confusing, some ethnic groups assigned January 6 (Gregorian Calendar) for Christmas celebrations. Therefore it is not accurate to assume Gregorian Epiphany is the same as Orthodox Christian (Julian) Christmas Day

Little Christmas is also called Women's Christmas (Irish: Nollaig na mBan), and sometimes Women's Little Christmas. The tradition, still very strong in Cork and Kerry is so called because of the Irish men taking on all the household duties for the day.[3] Most women hold parties or go out to celebrate the day with their friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts. Bars and restaurants serve mostly women and girls on this night. Children often buy presents for their mothers and grandmothers.

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