Nollaig na mBan Faoi Mhaise Dhaoibh go Léir

Enjoying the 2013 Nollaig Na mBan celebrations at the River Island Hotel in Castleisland were from left: Maureen Walsh, Phylis Mitchell, Catriona White, Liz McSweeney, Marge Healy, Mary Nolan, Helen Prendiville, Cathy White, Mary Stack, Margaret McSweeney, Margaret Nolan and Maureen Sugrue. ©Photograph: John Reidy 6-1-2013.

You’d hardly know it now but there are just 12 days in the traditional Christmas.

And while this side of it remains intact and January 6th is solidly recognised as the last day and night, the other side is being dragged more and more towards the last week of September by vested interests.

Ireland is being widely credited with the continuation of the Nollaig Na mBan traditions and Kerry, it seems, is one of its main custodians.

Busiest Night of the Year

Nollaig Na mBan was, up to the last couple of Christmases, one of the busiest nights of the year for hotels, restaurants and pubs and miles of road for newspaper photographers.

As we mark another quiet ‘small Christmas’ I had a random look back through the archive of such nights in recent history.

Take a look – and if you’re into raising a glass to the departed do so as there are faces in the collection that are no longer with us.

Nollaig na mBan faoi mhaise dhaoibh go léir.

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