Winter Angel holiday card featuring artwork by Kinuko Y. Craft. Click image for more info.
I’m always searching out forgotten holiday traditions, and one of my favorites that I am trying to revive is the custom of honoring the Twelve Days of Christmas. Some scholars believe the Twelve Days start on Christmas Day and end on January 5 with Twelfth Night. Others (including me) observe them from December 26 through January 6, Epiphany.
But it has been suggested that originally the Twelve Days spanned the time between the new moon closest to the Solstice (this would be during the time of Hanukkah) and the first full moon of the new year, or perhaps the time between Saint Lucy’s Day (December 13) and New Year’s Day.
Women of Myth & Magic 2015 wall calendar by Kinuko Y. Craft
Now Christmas is past,
Twelfth Night is the last
To the Old Year adieu,
Great joy to the new
— From the traditional song “Pembrokeshire: Song of the Wren”
Twelfth Night is one of those obscure holidays that I would like to revive. It is usually said to fall on January 5 (the eve of the Epiphany) but sometimes it is celebrated on January 6. (It depends on whether you believe the Twelve Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day or the day after.) Continue reading