Christmas and New Years are behind us for another year, and we are all left wondering: when should we take down our Christmas Tree and Decorations? It’s common to begin to feel the January blues, the dark and gloomy Winter months are upon us, and we are all desperate to cling on to the festive spirit a little while longer.
Christian Christmas Traditions
According to tradition, January the 5th or 6th marks the epiphany- the final day of the 12 days of Christmas depending on which Christian calendar you follow. This marks the perfect time for all Christmas decorations and festive décor including our outdoor lights to be taken down and stored away until next year.
Most of the tradition is centred around the Christmas Tree, as back in the day that was more than likely the only decoration to of existed. The Christian tradition states that the Christmas tree would stay up until the twelfth night of Christmas, which celebrated the arrival of the Three Wise Men who followed the star of Bethlehem to bring their gifts to baby Jesus.
When Is The Twelfth Night Of Christmas?
Christmas tradition dictates that advent is four weeks prior to Christmas Eve (24th December) however, different beliefs make the post-Christmas period much harder to define, especially the twelfth night. According to Country living (2022), The Church of England counts from Christmas Day, so the Twelfth Night always falls on the 5th of January. However other denominations including the Catholic Church start counting the 12 Days of Christmas from Boxing Day, so the 6th of January is the Twelfth Night and also Epiphany.
What are the twelve days of Christmas?
Each of the 12 days of Christmas has a special meaning, celebrating different saints with a feast day. As an example, Christmas Day, the 25th of December celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
According to the Hindustan Times (2022) the 12 days of Christmas celebrate the different saints listed below.
Boxing Day, the 26th of December commemorates Saint Stephen, the martyr.
The 27th of December celebrates Saint John, The Apostle often called the “beloved disciple”.
The 28th of December commemorates Innocents Day, in remembrance of the massacre of young children of Bethlehem whom King Herod killed in his quest to find infant Jesus.
The 29th of December is dedicated to Saint Thomas Beckett who was the archbishop of Canterbury from 1162, he had disputes with Henry II, King of England, over the privileges and rights of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170.
The 30th of December is dedicated to Saint Egwin of Evesham who was a Benedictine, monk and later became the third bishop of the Church of England in Worcester, from the Province of Canterbury.
The 31st December marks New Year’s Eve, also known as Silvester in some European countries as it celebrities one of the earlier Bishops Of Rome, Sylvester I.
The 1st of January is dedicated to Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is also referred to as the Virgin Mary, as it is believed that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband’s involvement.
The 2nd of January is dedicated to Saint Basil and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, both saints are said to of rebuilt the faith during the Arian movement.
The 3rd of January is the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus celebrated by several Christian denominations to commemorate the day when Jesus was officially named in a Jewish Temple.
The 4th of January is dedicated to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton who was the first American saint, she was canonised by the Roman Catholic Church, she also founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the sisters of Charity.
The 5th of January and the Final day of the twelve days of Christmas is dedicated to Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, who was a Bohemian Catholic priest who immigrated to the United States in 1836 where he was ordained and later joined the religious congregation of the Catholic Church, the Redemptorist order which is dedicated to missionary work.