Monday, January 6, 2014

Nollaig na mBan ~ Women's Little Christmas

Today is the 6th of January or Nollaig na mBan, Women's Little Christmas. 

It is the last day of Christmas. It is also the day of a wonderful Cork Tradition, one which I was introduced to many years ago when I first came to Cork. Nollaig na mBan is Women's Little Christmas, a delightful day when the Women CELEBRATE, whilst the menfolk take care of the all the cooking, cleaning and other chores of the home. I made my friends laugh when I kept referring to it, mistakenly, as Little Women's Christmas. I suppose my love of that book, the feisty March Women and the idea behind Nollaig na mBan resulted in my own personal translation. Which, knowing all, really was a greater compliment to the idea; and not just a silly mistake. I always think of my wonderful girlfriends down in Cork today and how blessed I am to still have them in my life. 

 Sadly, I no longer live in Cork. Luckily, I live in the gorgeous peninsula fishing village of Howth, in North County Dublin. The village comes alive with delightful spirits each Christmastime. There is a very festive Lighting of the Tree ceremony, greatly attended by the community, and the Great Man Himself! Indeed, it is Santa Claus who comes, amidst great fanfare including our own Pipe and Drum Band and a Parade, to turn on the Lights on the Christmas Tree. The Church Choir sings, a Reindeer driven carriage complete with some of Santa's Elves and Santa's Helper's handing out sweets and treats to all. It kicks off in early December and the Christmas Tree, covered in decorations with hand written messages from the local school children dare not come down until after the 6th of January. 

The Christmas atmosphere here in Howth would simply light a candle in your heart! 

On the 1st of January I took a walk. The air was crisp and fresh and cleaned my lungs thoroughly. I took with me my pen and paper, as every good Writer does and my camera as any good Photographer would. Well bundled and supplied, I set out to stretch my legs. Below is one of the things that greeted my eyes. I had walked by this sign many times before, but that night it looked particularly delightful to me. I promptly photographed it and laughed to myself a bit. The sign read Fiacloir, Irish for Dentist. The laughter inside me was great for the thought of the many mouths filled with chocolates and sweets, much to the pleasure of the Fiacloir patiently waiting with open doors to receive the mouths-in-need of redemption.

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