The 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 days of Christmas are a tradition that have been lost in the west.  When does the 12 days of Christmas begin?  For many, especially in the US and Canada, the 12 days begin on December 14th—the 12 days until Christmas.  However, contrary to popular western marketing and selling techniques, the actual 12 days of Christmas begins on December 26th, (St. Stephen’s Day), which in Canada, is known as Boxing Day.  The 12th night of Christmas is always on the evening of January 5th, followed by the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th. 

Over the centuries, the different sects of Christianity have changed the actual traditions, time frames and their interpretations.   The 12 days have been largely forgotten in the west, unfortunately, and have been regarded as the 12 days until Christmas.  The song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a holiday favorite, but just like the tradition, its true meaning has been forgotten.  Friday’s blog post will tell about the details of the song, so be sure to check back with us!

Just like Christmas traditions have changed through time, and have been commercialized in the west, so has the idea of Santa Claus.  Santa Claus is the magical and legendary character that brings gifts for good (or “nice”) children, by delivering the gifts through the chimney.  According to the tradition from the 1820s, Santa lives in the North Pole with magical elves and nine flying reindeers.  The modern image of Santa is derived from the Dutch figure Sinterklaas, who was known for his generous and secret gift giving.  He is celebrated annually throughout Europe on Saint Nicholas’ eve on December 5th or the morning of December 6th.  

You can always read more about the traditions of Christmas by checking out books from the library, or doing some internet searches.  

Happy Hennaing and Happy Holidays!