Christmas for Irish people, who are Catholics, lasts from Christmas Eve to the feast of Epiphany on January 6th, which some Irish people call 'Little Christmas'.
The day after Christmas Day, St. Stephen's Day (Boxing Day), is also very important in Ireland. Like in the UK, Football matches and Horse racing meetings are traditionally held on St. Stephen's Day.
In some Irish houses people put a tall, thick candle on the sill of the largest window after sunset on Christmas Eve. The candle is left to burn all night and represents a welcoming light for Mary and Joseph.
The Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th) is also celebrated as 'Nollaig na mBean' or Women's Christmas. Traditionally the women get the day off and the men do the housework and cooking! The women meet in each other's homes to sew and chat. It is becoming more popular and many Irish women now get together on the Sunday nearest Epiphany, to have tea and cakes, to gossip and to enjoy each other's company!...........BEST ONE YET!!