Twelve Days Of Christmas

 The Twelve Days of Christmas is the festive Christian season, beginning on Christmas Day, that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God. This period is also known as Christmastide. This is different from the Octave of Christmas, which is the liturgical time from Christmas Day until the Solemnity of Mary on 1 January. The Twelfth Day of Christmas falls on 5 or 6 January depending which tradition is followed. There is similar confusion about the date of Twelfth Night which is commonly held to be 5 January but some hold that it is 6 January. The Feast of the Epiphany is on 6 January which celebrates the visit of the Wise Men and their bringing of gifts to the child Jesus. In some traditions, the feast of Epiphany and Twelfth Day overlap.

Many different saint feast days fall within the twelve days of Christmas, but they are not part of the Twelve Days themselves. The Twelve Days is a distinct period focused on commemorating the Nativity of Christ. Different traditions follow slightly different days and traditions. St. Stephen's Day, for example, is 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. 28 December is Childermas/Feast of the Holy Innocents. In Britain and the former colonies, 26 December is also known as Boxing Day, a secular holiday. Currently, the twelve days and nights are celebrated in varying ways around the world. Some give gifts only on Christmas Day, some only on Twelfth Night, and some each of the twelve nights. In many Latin American countries, the Feast of the Epiphany is accorded a great celebration.

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