Twelfth Night is a bright festival taking place on the day of the Epiphany. It is believed that today the wise men visited the baby Jesus. His fans are scattered all over the world – each culture has its own traditions.
It is believed that today the gates of all worlds are open, and even evil spirits gather to celebrate the holiday.. The next day is determined by what the whole year will be, in some countries it is called “Day of Destiny”. People assure that wishes made today come true. Pagan traditions have survived to this day: caroling, masquerade, disguise. Many miracles and mysticism are associated with Twelfth Night, for example, Sicilians are waiting for orange trees to blossom on this night.
The Roman priests’ council announced the feast in the 4th century. Some researchers claim that one of the main motives was to harmonize the Julian calendar with the lunar one. By the way, “12th Night”, written by Shakespeare, was dedicated to the celebration as an entertainment event. The first performance took place in 1602. Notably, the piece contains elements that change according to tradition.
Twelfth Night Traditions:
- in Ireland, figurines of the “Three Kings” are placed in the crib;
- in colonial America, the Christmas wreath was removed from the door;
- in the Eastern Alps, 200-300 young people gather and drive evil spirits through the streets, breaking the silence with whips and bells;
- in the Netherlands noisy celebrations are prohibited by the church.
How to celebrate
Learn more about the date from the literature. Give gifts to loved ones, because the whole of January is part of Christmas! Act out Shakespeare’s play with your friends: gather enough people, sort out the roles and stage a performance.
When is Twelfth Night celebrated in 2024?
Twelfth Night is observed on January 5 each year.