Christmas is celebrated with religious fervor across different parts of the world. A number of rituals and traditions are associated with the merrymaking of the festival, one of the most popular being the observance of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Contrary to the popular belief, the Twelve Days of Christmas do not begin before the festival. In fact, they start on the day of Christmas, and continue for the next eleven days. The first day is December 25 and the twelfth night is January 6. Celebrating the 12 days of Christmas is an age old tradition followed since times immemorial. With the passage of time, there have been many changes in the way of celebration of the 12 days of Christmas. In the article, check out detailed information on the twelve days of Christmas.
12 Days Of Christmas
The origin and counting of the Twelve Days of Christmas is a bit complicated. This is largely because of the difference in the traditions followed in churches, variation in culture of people as well as the difference in calendars. In the Western Church, Epiphany, which falls on January 6, is observed as the day, when the Three Wise Men or Magi reached Bethlehem to present gifts to newborn Jesus. According to the culture followed in Hispania and Latin America, January 6 is observed as the Three Kings Day. Although the birth of Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated as Christmas on December 25 in the aforementioned regions as well, the tradition of gift giving is followed on January 6. In some parts of the world, there exists a tradition according to which, gifts are given on each day of the Twelve Days Of Christmas.
Churches in different regions have modified their way of celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. In some places, December 26 is observed as Saint Stephen's Day, while in other places the day is celebrated on December 27. The only thing that remains unchanged is the celebration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ around the world on December 25. There is no definite reason for the twelve-day celebrations of Christmas, though many believe that it may be the number of days that the three Kings of Magi took to reach Bethlehem. Each day of the Twelve Days of Christmas has its own significance.
The last day, or rather night is usually celebrated on January 6. On this day, the Christmas tree and its decorations are taken down. Thereafter, a grand feast is organized in every Christian house. Some people cook something traditional and different for each of the twelve days, while some bake a cake on the twelfth day. In many countries of the world including France and England, the twelfth day is celebrated by making King's cake, in the remembrance of the three wise men or Magi. A song by the same name is very popular and is sung by little children, during the celebrations of the festival. The true essence of Christmas is seen in the celebration of these 12 days of sheer joy and festivity.