It’s Twelfth Night in England, Nodlaig na mBan in Ireland and Epiphany elsewhere.
Nodlaig na mBan means Women’s Christmas – when, back in the day, the women put their feet up and the men did the housework. One way or the other, it marks the end of Christmas. By tomorrow, the tree and the decorations must be down and normality restored. In the old days, the paper decorations – which, of course, you had made yourself out of brightly coloured crepe paper – all that is saved till Shrove Tuesday and then used to make the fire on which the pancakes are cooked.
I’ve celebrated Nodlaig na mBan with women friends and family wherever I’ve been including the High Veldt in South Africa, the Opera Bar in Sydney, St. John’s on Antigua and, many many times, La Cave wine bar in Dublin, which is where I’ll be tonight.