Saturday, January 6, 2018
I have to admit I've been a bit confused about the concept of Twelfth Night, as I've heard that it's both January 5th AND the 6th. Well, it can't be both obviously, and it seems it is a matter of interpretation, is it twelve days after Christmas Day or does the count begin on the 26th? (The Church of England states that Twelfth Night is the 5th of January.)
I was also curious about the notion of removing the greenery on Twelfth Night in order to avoid bad luck, what could be the rationale possibly be with this notion? Apparently it originated in the nineteenth century, when the idea that the "tree spirits" living in the holly and ivy needed to be freed before the start of Epiphany (which is today, the 6th of January). What would happen if they were not freed? My guess was they'd lurk around the house and cause mischief?
No, the idea was that it would be a curse on the new season of agriculture, which would compromise crops and therefore food supplies.
As usual I was a bit sad to take down the decorations, but of course it's also satisfying to sweep up the needles of the Christmas tree and store away all of the festive accessories to the holidays.
The house always seems bigger and cleaner once that's done!
Have you ever observed this Twelfth Night tradition of removing your tree? Have you heard of any other superstitions which exist around this day?