Twelfth Night on January 5th brings Christmas to a close. I like to think of it as a beginning rather than end. Advent and Christmas are the start of the church calendar, after the birth we watch this remarkable baby grow and mature. We follow His progress as He fulfils the purpose for which He was born. Our journey with Jesus stretches ahead of us and the events to come are even more amazing.
Traditionally it is a night of feasting and revelry and most of the traditions probably stem from pagan roots. It was an evening for plays and mummers, parties and games and in some areas of the country , mainly apple growing ones, a time to bless the orchards and the land to ensure a good harvest. Wassailing is an old English tradition when a hot spicy ale or cider based drink is shared from a common cup; some of the drink is poured around the trees to ensure a good crop.
It is also the night to take down Christmas decorations. In our house we usually spend the evening together quietly dismantling the decorations and the tree. Before we pack them away we record our best memories of Christmas on cards and tuck them in the box of decorations ready to find next Advent when we unpack everything again.
We drink Lambs Wool a warm drink made with cider or ale or a combination, flavoured with spices and baked apples. I make a non alcoholic version for the kids with apple juice and serve a spicy snack - this year I think I will make gingerbread.
As it happens we are also going to the Pantomime on the 5th of January , which seems a fitting end to Christmas!
To share some ideas visit the Nativity Carnival at The Ten O Clock Scholar.