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nollaig na mban

It's Women's Christmas, so what's it all about?

Times have changed, but the tradition lives on.

TODAY IS NOLLAIG na mBan, also known as Women’s Christmas, Little Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany.

The religious feast marks the day the three kinds are said to have arrived at the stable in Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus.

This is also, in Ireland, the day on which you’re supposed to take all your Christmas decorations down – something that is particularly strictly adhered to in rural parts of the country.

However, the translation of the Irish name means Women’s Christmas and it has long been recognised as a day for celebrating the contribution of Irish women to society.

Originally, it was considered as a kind of day of rest for women after the Christmas rush and they would often gather together in a pub or one of their homes to chill out away from the children for a few hours.

The men would stay at home to mind the little ones and do the chores to give them a well-deserved break.

Though we have moved on considerably from a time when women were  (figuratively) chained to the kitchen counter throughout the festive period, the tradition lives on.

All across the country Irish ladies still meet up with their female friends and relatives to celebrate their own mini Christmas, with a few tipples for those who have not decided to go dry for January.

Read: 8 easy ways to celebrate the wonderful Irish women in your life today>

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