Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 7 - Women Celebrations


  • "Night of the Mothers" was held by Anglo-Saxon Pagans at what is now Christmas Eve.
  • Scholars propose connections between Mōdraniht and other Germanic stories, specifically those involving the dísir, collective female beings, and Yule and the Germanic Matres and Matronae, female beings nearly always appearing in trios.
  • The Matres (Latin "mothers") were female deities venerated in Northwestern Europe from the first to the fifth century. They are usually shown as a youth, mother and crone.
  • Information about the religious practices surrounding the Matres is limited to the stones on which their depictions and inscriptions are found, of which over 1,100 exist. T
  • The Germanic Matres have been connected with the later Germanic dísir, valkyries, and norns attested largely in 13th century sources.
  • Loose hair may point to maidenhood, whereas the head dresses may refer to married women, the snakes may refer to an association with the souls of the dead or the underworld, and the children and nappies seem to indicate that the Matres and Matronae held a protective function over the family, as well as a particular function as midwives.


  • http://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=OIP.Meb408edea33035ee374364c1bf036a79o0&w=215&h=146&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0&r=0In Norse mythology, a lady ghost, spirit or deity associated with fate who can be both benevolent and antagonistic towards mortal people and who were valkyrie-like guardians of the dead
  • Their original function was possibly that of fertility goddesses who were the object of both private and official worship called dísablót, and their veneration may derive from the worship of the spirits of the dead.
  • A sacrificial festival (blót) honouring them, it was held at Winter Nights (at the onset of winter) which was a private observance for family and friends.

Little Christmas (Women's Christmas or Nollaig Bheag)

  • Observed by Christians in Ireland and the Irish diaspora, particularly women
    6 January in Ireland, 1 January in the Scottish Highlands
  • Men take on household duties for the day while women hold parties or go out to celebrate the day with their friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts.
  • Children often buy presents for their mothers and grandmothers.

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