Are you ready for a huge, religious geek-out? Here we go…
Growing up, my mom always referred to today as “little Christmas” and explained that we always kept out tree up AT LEAST until today (usually longer) because today is technically when the Wise Men got to baby Jesus. I didn’t put it together until today to ask myself, well why the heck do we celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December and what the hell are the 12 days of Christmas all about…. so this Wikipedia article about Little Christmas was SO interesting.
“Little Christmas” is an Irish term! Around the world, the 6th of January is actually known as the Feast of the Epiphany. In many Latin American countries, gifts aren’t exchanged until today and Christmas Day (the 25th of December) is a strictly religious day, hence the 12 Days of Christmas aren’t the days leading up to Christmas as I’d always thought, but actually the 12 days following. Fascinating!
Little Christmas is also known as “Women’s Christmas.” In Cork and Kerry (Ireland) where this tradition is still strong, the men take over the household duties for the day and women go out to celebrate with friends, sisters, mothers and aunts. Decorations are often removed on this day. Children often give gifts to their mothers and grandmothers, too.
In case you’re wondering what spawned this rare, religious-themed blog post, it began when I saw a “Three Kings Day” live snap of celebrations around the world. SO cool! As much as I love to explore the world in real time on Instagram, the “live” feed on Snapchat is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. But, I digress.
For a few years now, Brian has baked a “Kings Cake” to bring in to work and it totally escaped me what that was really all about until just now.