On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

Though advertisers and merchants would have us believe that the Christmas season begins at Thanksgiving (or possibly Halloween, or Labor Day), liturgically it begins on Christmas Eve and extends until Twelfth Night, the eve of the Epiphany.

The Twelve Days of Christmas are Christmas through January 5th. Tonight is Twelfth night.

2 thoughts on “On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

  1. Which is why, although I practically pick up my Christmas tree with one hand and throw it out the front door on New Year’s Day (I’m always so anxious to get the dry old thing out of my house), my wreaths and outdoor lights won’t come down until tomorrow.

    Although if it’s in the 30s again tomorrow…maybe we’ll celebrate an extended Epiphany.

  2. Donna corrects me that January 6th is the Twelfth Day of Christmas. December 26-31 (6) + January 1-6 (6).

    The night of January 5th/6th is generally regarded as Twelfth Night. That is, the Twelfth Night precedes the Twelfth Day, just as Christmas Eve begins the celebration of Christmas. Most likely this originates with the Jewish (and Islamic) tradition of beginning a religious observance at sunset.

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