Today is Twelfth Night as recognised by the Church - with Christmas Day being the 1st Day of Christmas. Some people might say tomorrow is 12th Night, forgetting that Boxing Day is actually the 2nd Day of Christmas!
Twelfth Night is also known as Mary's Eve - it's celebrated at Toll Gavel United Church at 7pm this evening - as it is the prelude to Epiphany, a traditional feast which was once more important than Christmas!
Epiphany is associated with the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem - they followed a star to find the promised new King and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
It's considered bad luck to keep your decorations up after Twelfth Night. If you don't get them down in time, the alternative is to keep them up until February 2nd, or Candlemass Day - the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord. Seemingly, in days gone by, many people would leave their decorations up!
Today is the day when you would also have received 364 gifts, according to the Twelve Days of Christmas carol. Your house would be full with 12 partridges in pear trees; 22 turtle doves; 30 French hens; 36 calling birds; 40 gold rings; 42 geese; 42 swans; 40 maids; 36 ladies; 30 lords; 22 pipers and 12 drummers!