Women’s Christmas: Did you learn about this little-known festive Irish custom?

WHILE there are a variety of Christmas traditions in Ireland that may raise a couple of eyebrows, one in particular has Irish women raising more than that; wine-glasses, their arms and the roof to name but a couple of.

Every January 6th, it’s customary in parts of the nation that the women, who have actually unquestionably slaved away for weeks getting everything prepared for Christmas and New Year and making certain everything runs efficiently while everyone else is drowning in a sea of mulled-wine and turkey sandwiches, to have their own individual joyful event.

It’s known as Women’s Christmas (or Little Christmas) and it takes place on what is technically the last day of the festive period.

The day is maybe more widely connected with what is known as the Banquet of the Surprise, a Christian feast day which commemorates the discovery of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.

In the 21st century, the day is also viewed as the day most people remove their Christmas decorations, calling an end to the seasonal celebrations.

Women’s Christmas’No boys allowed ‘is very much the embraced motto for Women’s Christmas. In truth, it’s tradition that the males of the house take on the household tasks for the day and the females are allowed to put their feet up.

The tradition, which is still strong in Kerry and Cork, in its modern kind sees numerous ladies holding celebrations and hitting the town with their good friends, siblings, moms, daughters and aunties, causing regulated and organised trouble at bars throughout the nation.

Speaking to the Irish Times, scholar Alan Titley discussed the origins of the custom.

“Many females in west Kerry would have raised 5 or 6 turkeys for sale the Christmas market,” he said.

“They kept the cash [made from the turkeys] – like egg money – and if there was anything left over after Christmas, they spent it on themselves.”

Siobhan Fahy from Dingle, Co. Kerry gave an understated account of her own Women’s Christmas experiences.

“United States women would go checking out that afternoon. It was a very basic celebration, simply consuming a slice of currant loaf in someone’s house and having a cup of tea and a chat.

“However that was the day, you ‘d do something for yourself and have a rest after all the Christmas work.”
For the women reading this who might have only simply discovered this vacation, share this post, and go mad on January 6.

For the males gasping in scary, my advice would be to destroy whatever gadget you read this on and, if possible, destroy the web, just to ensure the trick does not go out.

One minute please …


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