• Old Christmas Day

    Back when I was a kid I remember January 6th being called Old Christmas Day.  Noone seems to mention it much anymore, but curiosity got the better of me.

    It seems the date is a holdover from the old Julian to Gregorian calendar change, where 10 days got chopped off (11 when it came to England years later).  Old Christmas Day then is the day Christmas would have been celebrated if the calendar hadn’t changed. The Eastern Orthodox churches (and perhaps others) still use January 6th. Its also the feast of Epiphany, though the feast days are more well know in the Catholic (and maybe Anglican?) churches than they are to me.

    So much for the history lesson.  Practically the only thing I really remember about it as a “tradition” was that we always waited till then to take decorations down.  Was kind of the semi official end of Christmas.

    I’ve also read traditions of some countries/cultures saying animals could talk on Christmas Eve, but I seem to recall our tradition being that they could talk on Old Christmas Day.

    Anyone remember anything else? Leave a comment please, let me know you were here!

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    3 thoughts on “Old Christmas Day

    • James Waite says:

      I know Old Christmas Day well, since it is my birthday! Growing up, I had been told that the reason it’s called “Old Christmas Day” is that it took the Wise Men 12 days to reach the manger where Jesus was born (following the star that appeared at his birth). Hence the “12 Days of Christmas” song. Whatever the reason, our family (in Ontario), also carried on the tradition of my parents’ famillies of leaving the tree/decorations up until January 6th.

    • […] season ended pretty much at the same time every year as well, January 6th, old Christmas day, it all came down, and the season was […]

    • dennis baker says:

      Peter, I remember some of the old folks saying the animals prayed on old Christmas night.

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