Today in Ireland is Nollaig na mBan; also called ‘women’s Christmas’ or ‘little Christmas.’ To the rest of the world, January 6th is known as ‘The Feast of the Epiphany’ and it officially ends the festive season (thank God, says you).
But today serves a larger purpose for our small island than you may think; particularly for you, your sister, mother, aunt, and all your female friends.
Nollaig na mBan is traditionally a day of rest for all the women of Ireland after a hard slog cooking and cleaning and shopping over Christmas. The idea was that women would make the men “take on household duties” while women hold parties or go out celebrating with friends.
But the tradition has grown and matured since it’s inauguration way back when, and now we use it to celebrate the contribution of women in our growing society.
It’s not something that deserves one day of trivial notice. Irish women deserve to be celebrated every single day to account for the decades of inequality and suffering that has filled our history books.
2016 was a significant year for women in Ireland, and 2017 will be even more so. We challenged laws and protected our sisters from domestic and sexual violence. We’re making childcare more accessible and affordable. We’re protecting female workers and their rights to decent and fair wages. We protected vulnerable female members of our communities, we reformed our political system to include more female members, and we’re making progress towards safe and legal abortions.
So if you’re thinking of treating yourself today, do. Because, heck, you deserve it, sister.