NOLLAIG NA MBAN
WOMEN'S CHRISTMAS 6TH JAN
January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, is also known in Ireland as Nollaig na mBan. Falling on the twelfth and final day of Christmas, Women’s Christmas or Little Christmas was traditionally a day off from all house work for women as a reward for their hard work over the season. The custom was that women made social calls to the homes of their friends and neighbours and enjoyed tea and the last of the Christmas cake. However, it has also been was acknowledged by some that the treats the women enjoyed were the dregs or leftovers of the festive season, and one day off after so much work is a rather dismal and weak nod to the level of work, usually taken on by women over the Christmas season.
In modern times it has developed into a day celebrating women, and where many women gather to share and celebrate each other. January 2021 witnesses the harshest start of a year we have seen in quite some time. With Level 5 restrictions in place, we at Holding It Together Apart want to honour the tradition of Nollaig na bMan. We have gathered a collection of narrations from a number of women across the country. All are reading a piece of prose, poetry or song that is meaningful to them and captures the essence of this early part of the year. As the Kings reach their destination to the crib of the newborn child, we welcome the Queen's contribution and share some beautiful pieces of literature and music, remembering the days when we could sit around the fire and share life together, knowing that in holding it together apart, we will one day, sit again around the fire and celebrate life and living.
Poem written and composed by Louise Lesovitch
THE DANCE OF LIGHT
Choreographed and performed by Emma O'Kane.
Vocals by Kathy Gleeson
CYCLING IN CHENNAI
Poem written and narrated by Anne Tannam
Poem by Linda Ruther, narrated by Marie Richardson
OICHE NOLLAIG MBAN
Poem by Sean O'Riordan, narrated by Anne Doyle
English translation by Theo Dorgan
REV. NÓIRIÍN NÍ RIAIN
Inter- faith minister and Spiritual singer in conversation with Declan Hayden
OICHE NOLLAIG NA MBAN
Poem by Sean O'Riordain, narrated Suin Nic Gearailt