image: title

Celebrate and learn about special days
every day of the year!

   
Back to Facts of the Day Calendar UK Calendar dates british festivals .... folklore ... anniversaries .... on this day


Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night is the night before Twelfth Day.

"The evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking".
Oxford English Dictionary

Twelfth Night (5th January) is when all Christmas decorations should be removed so as not to bring bad luck upon the home.

Why is it bad luck to leave the decorations up after Twelfth Night?

image: hollyLong ago it was thought that leaving the decorations up would cause a disaster. People believed that tree-spirits lived in the greenery (holy, ivy etc) they decorated their houses with. The greenery was brought into the house to provide a safe haven for the tree-spirits during the harsh midwinter days. Once this period was over it was necessary to return the greenery back outside to release the tree-spirits into the countryside once again. Failure to do this would mean that vegetation would not be able to start growing again (spring would not return), leading to an agricultural disaster.

It was also thought that, if you left the greenery in the house, the tree-spirits would cause mischief in the house until they were released.

Today people still feel uneasy about leaving the Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night. Despite decorations now being made of foil or paper, and even though the tree-spirits are long forgotten, the superstition still survives.

Did you know?

Until the 19th century, people would keep decorations of holly, ivy, box, yew, lauren and mistletoe up until February 2nd, Candlemas Day, the end of the Christmas season, 40 days after the birth of Jesus.

In the reign of Victoria decorations came down on Twelfth Night and generally were burnt.

From a visitor to our website

"There was another tradition in North Worcestershire when I was young of keeping the holly decoration until Shrove Tuesday and putting it on the fire when making the pancakes (when we still had open range fires in kitchens, of course!)"
Rod Payne

Links

Christmas Decorations

Why is Twelfth Night on 5th January and not 6th January?

Twelfth Night Traditions

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Also on this day ....

Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh)
According to the Sikh Nanakshahi calendar, this day marks the birth of the tenth and final Sikh prophet-teacher. Guru Gobind Singh introduced many of the customs that Sikhs practise today including the 5 K's.

Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, was born Gobind Rai in Patna, Bihar on 22 December 1666 CE. His birthday generally falls in December or January—or occasionally twice within one year—when calculated according to the Hindu Bikrami calendar

You can find out more about the Sikh religion here
www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/religion/sikhism.html

See Teaching Resources for today's date

Back to Facts of the Day Calendar


Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec

email© Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.
projectbritain.com | primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk

Facts and information about LondonBritish Royal FamilyVirtual Tour of the Thames

Special facts and information about each month of the yearInformation on Britain and the UK for Kids of all agesBritish History

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Follow Project BritainTwitterFollow Mandy Barrow on TwitterGoogle Plus

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites projectbritain.com and primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk 
are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

Woodlands Junior Homework Help new website


born on this day what happened on this day famous birthdays interesting facts did you know Interesting Calendar Facts.