How to celebrate Women's Little Christmas / Late Yule
Today is January 6th and it is Little Christmas. In Ireland, we know this day as Nollaig na mBan. This translates directly as Christmas of the Women* or as it is known, Women's Christmas. It is more commonly known as Women's Little Christmas or Late Yule.
How Women's Little Christmas / Late Yule is celebrated
- Today is the day to meet with your female friends and relations to go out for dinner and drinks. Celebrate your womanhood with your sisterhood.
- Growing up we use to joke that the reason behind Women's Little Christmas was to let the poor ladies have a small bit of fun after the servitude of Christmas cooking, serving, and cleaning was over! So celebrate!
- In Ireland today is the traditional day to remove the Christmas tree and decorations.
- Today is also known as Late Yule in the old pagan ways.
- Today is the day for blessing your tools, you land, any creative endeavors.
- Farmers and gardeners start to prepare for the coming spring.
And this is a tradition that many farmers and gardeners still celebrate, perhaps not knowing it's pagan roots.
- If you have no farming or gardening tools then bless your laptop, phone, pens, fancy stationary. You can use Holy water, or olive oil blended with salt and frankincense. If you have read through the blog you will have seen that we sell an anointing candle oil and this can be used to make anything sacred. Just rub on a bit of the oil while thinking of your coming year and how you want the tools to serve you, and thank them for all their work in the past. It might sound corny but there is a very cool psychology behind this.
The ritual of blessing an object or making it special
The very act of buying an oil that has taken months to blend and was designed with care and attention brings an artifice to the ritual. By you taking time, energy, thought, and making such an effort you are imparting to yourself a scene of control, a reverence for your belongings, and an extended scene of self-care to these tools; they become a part of you as they serve you so you take care of them and they will take care of you.
You have to love a thing so much that it becomes real, just like Velveteen Rabbit. By showing respect, kindness, care, and love to your inanimate tools you are, in a way showing love to yourself.
You don't come home from work and dump your work clothes in a bundle on the floor, you don't go to a business meeting with a dog-eared, coffee-stained notebook, you don't go on holidays with messy/dirty clothes? The about blessing of tools has the same premise.
Who you are in the minute is who you are on the whole.
So get blessing! You can buy our anointing oil here. If you are reading this and it is no longer January 6th then don't worry, you can use any day to start making the things you use special and sacred by blessing them with your own ritual.
*This is one of the main reasons Ireland is thought to have produced and still produce so many great writers. Irish (which is not spoken in most of Ireland but is still taught throughout our education) breaks up the conventions of English and puts things at different sides of the sentence. That is we put the noun (person) last in the sentence and the verb or thing first. If I was to say in Irish that I ran I would say 'rith mé,' which means 'run I.'