For centuries 12 days of Christmas, Christmas was celebrated not as a single day, but as a whole season in parts of the world, beginning with this day, December 24, Christmas Eve and ends on January 5th.
The name ‘Christmas’ means “Mass of Christ”. A Mass is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life.
Although the date is a guess, the tradition of observing it goes back to at least the fourth century. Under the influence of the church, Christian traditions replaced pagan solstice festivals throughout Europe.
12 Days of Christmas
The 12 days traditionally celebrate a feast. Remembering the people involved in spreading Christianity. However there are other versions regarding, 12 days of Christmas. Therefore, this is one of the traditional facts practiced in many part of the world.
25th December: Christmas Day, celebrating the Birth of Jesus.
26th December also known as Boxing Day: St Stephen’s Day. He was the first Christian martyr someone who dies for their faith. As a result, It’s also the day when the Christmas Carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’ takes place.
27th December: St John the Apostle, One of Jesus Disciples and friends. John was one of the first disciples chosen. Also, John is known for both Christ’s affection for him and for his sheer longevity. He supposedly outlived all of the disciples, dying of old age at Ephesus, perhaps about A.D. 98. John was one of the “main three” apostles (Peter, James, and John)
28th December: The Feast of the Holy Innocents – when people remember the baby boys which King Herod killed when he was trying to find and kill the Baby Jesus.
29th December: St Thomas Becket. He was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th century and was murdered on 29th December 1170 for challenging the King’s authority over the Church.
30th December: St Egwin of Worcester. Egwin of Worcester was of a noble family, though a good bishop, protector of orphans and widows and a fair judge; Hence he incurred the animosity of people who resisted his insistent teaching on marital morality and clerical celibacy.
31st December: New Year’s Eve. Also Pope Sylvester I is traditionally celebrated on this day. He was one of the earliest popes in the 4th Century. Due to this New Year’s Eve is still sometimes called ‘Silvester’.
1st January: Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It is celebrated by the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide.
2nd January: St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, two important 4th century Christians. St. Athanasius, is noted as an outstanding defender of Christian orthodoxy during the Arian heresy.
3rd January: Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. This remembers when Jesus was officially ‘named’ in the Jewish Temple. It’s celebrated by different churches on a wide number of different dates.
4th January: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint, who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the past it also celebrated the feast of Saint Simon Stylites who lives on a small platform on the top of a pillar for 37 years.
5th January also known as Epiphany Eve: St. John Neumann who was the first Bishop in American. He lived in the 19th century. Finally it is marked in memory.