Little Christmas, or Nollaig Bheag in Irish, is one of the traditional names in Ireland
for January the 6th, which is more commonly known in the rest of the world as the Epiphany.
It is the traditional end of the Christmas season and the last day of the Christmas holidays
for schools in Ireland. The name Little Christmas is also found in other languages.
Little Christmas is also referred to as Women's Christmas (Nollaig na mBan in Irish), or
sometimes even Women's Little Christmas. The tradition, which is still very strong in Cork,
includes Irish men taking on all the household duties for the day and giving their spouses
a day off. Most women will either hold parties or go out to celebrate the day with their
friends and family members. Bars and restaurants usually have a majority female clientele
on this night. Children often buy presents for their mothers and grandmothers, and it closely
resembles Mother's Day in this respect.
It was originally a rural tradition, but in recent years, Women's Christmas is enjoying a
revival, both in Ireland and abroad. It is becoming popular in Irish communities in Britain,
North America, Australia, and New Zealand. For the Irish Women's Network of British
Columbia, Canada, for example, this event is the highlight of their social calendar.