Christmas is not celebrated only on December, 25, but it is only a beginning of twelve day celebrations starting from the day of Christmas. The celebrations will come to an end only on the twelfth day that falls on 5 th or 6 th January next year. The last day is the day of Epiphany, which is usually on the first Sunday of the next year that begins after Christmas. In some countries, gifts are presented on the day of Epiphany, whereas in some other countries, gifts are distributed on all the twelve days of celebration.
Twelve Days of Christmas:
The twelve days of Christmas celebrations begin on December, 25 and will continue till January, 5 or 6 of the following year. The twelfth night of Christmas always falls of the night of January, 5 and this night is followed by the feast of Epiphany on the morning of January, 6. Over the centuries, different countries have adopted different cultures and the twelve day Christmas celebrations are celebrated with varying cultures.
The twelve days of Christmas are the celebrations that link two great feasts namely Lord Nativity Feast and Feast of Theophany.
Merry Christmas 12 days Description:
Day-1-December, 25-is celebrated as Christmas Day.
Day-2-December, 26 is celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day. This day is also called as Boxing Day in Great Britain and Wren Day in Ireland.
Day-3 December, 27 is known as the day of feast of Saint John, the Evangelist.
Day-4 December, 28 is celebrated as the day of Holy Innocents, who were ordered to be killed by King Herod when he came to know about the birth of Jesus.
Day-5 December, 29 is known as the feast day of Saint Thomas Becket.
Day-6 December, 30 is celebrated as the feast of the Holy Family.
Day-7 December, 31 is the feast day of Saint Sylvester. Most of the countries celebrate this day as mentioned.
Day-8 January, 1 is known as the feast of Holy Circumcision of Jesus.
Day-9 January, 2 is the feast day of Saint Basil, the Great
Day-10 January, 3 is the feast day of Saint Genevieve.
Day-11 January, 4 is celebrated as feast day of holy innocents as well as feast day of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, who is considered as the first American Saint.
Day-12 January, 5 is known as the feast day of Saint Julian the Hospitaller in the entire European Countries except United Kingdom, where this day is celebrated as the feast of Saint Edward, the Confessor. This day is also celebrated as Twelfth Night.
Twelfth night is considered as the day, when the decorations made for Christmas celebrations are to be removed. But, in some countries like England, the decorations are left as it is till the Candlemas.
Christmas 12 Days History:
In United States of America, most of the twelve day Christmas celebrations are slowly forgotten. Stories of Charles Dickens, introduction of more secular tradition during the past 200 years and the popularity given to the New Year Parties are the significant factors for stopping traditional celebrations.
Whatever be the pattern, 12 days of Christmas are celebrated throughout the World combined with traditions and modern celebrations. It is joyous occasion for one and all.