Epiphany and Nollaig na mBan.

Husband is home! 😀

Which means that tomorrow we will celebrate Epiphany, and also Nollaig na mBan.

Epiphany is a strange celebration, commemorating not one but three events in the life of Jesus – the visit of the Magi when He was a young child in Egypt, the miracle at the wedding at Cana when He turned water into wine (really good wine, as well!), and His baptism by John. It’s also the traditional day to take down all the Christmas decorations.

Nollaig na mBan means Women’s Little Christmas, and is an Irish tradition where the women get to have fun for the day whilst the men do the chores. It comes from the times when women did all the housework, which meant that Christmas Day could be more work than pleasure for women! We celebrate it as a good many of Husband’s Ancestors hail from Ireland (as do a few of mine, I’ve recently been told. Need to check this out…).

We’ll be taking down the decorations and cleaning the altar and shrines. I have some Bible verses I’ll read out (Matthew 2:1-12 and 3:1-17, Mark 1:1-13, Luke 3:21-22, and John 1:19-22 and 2:2-11) and we may try chalking the door (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalking_the_door). As, according to tradition, one of the Magi came from Persia, I’ll make a sort of Iranian-style hotpot called tas kabob ‘eh beh based on this recipe (https://figandquince.com/2013/11/11/tas-kabob-2/) but with mushrooms instead of steak, a flatbread called lavash to go with it, and a sweet walnut bun sort of thing called koloocheh based on a recipe from the same blog (https://figandquince.com/2014/03/16/persian-koloocheh-perfect-for-norooz-made-by-a-gracious-lady/) but with soya milk, soya yogurt and no eggs. We’ll drink grape juice to represent the wine from the wedding at Cana.

We won’t forget the women in our family, either. We have our Nollaig na mBan prayer to say, and I’m planning to bake something to give to Sister and Mom – though I can’t see either of them tomorrow, so those gifts will have to be a little late. We’ll put offerings out for our female Ancestors, and I’d like to see if I can make contact with one of them in a journey (last time I went to talk to my Ancestors they all turned out to be wolves, so I’m being open minded about what form said female Ancestor may take lol).

Is anyone else doing anything for either of these traditions?


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