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The Twelfth Day of Christmas-10 facts

For Christians the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ is not about partridges and pear trees or about true love or about gold rings, though there is a slight connection with gold and with love.

  • Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. It is a time of expectancy, waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

  • Christmas Day the 25th December is the first of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’.

  • The Bible tells us nothing of the precise date when Jesus was born. Pope Julius in the 4th century decided that the birth of Jesus should be celebrated on the 25th December. It took another 400 years before it was celebrated widely across Europe. He probably chose the date because of its closeness to winter solace celebrations which had been taking place for centuries. Eventually in the middle ages the festival became known as Christmas because they celebrated Christ’s birth with a mass.

  • Epiphany the 6th January is the twelfth day of Christmas.

  • For many Christians Epiphany is the celebration of the visit of the Magi with gifts for Jesus .

  • In Spain the ‘Three Kings’ festival is a bigger celebration than Christmas day.

  • Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate the baptism of Jesus at Epiphany.

  • The baptism of Jesus is the occasion when Jesus revealed himself to the world as God’s Son.

  • Epiphany means an appearance or manifestation, and this usually refers to a god.

  • For many Christians the Epiphany reveals that God came into the world for the Gentiles (non- Jews) as well as the Jews. The Magi travelled a great distance from the east following a star to find Jesus and would therefore have been Gentiles. This reveals the Christian truth that God in Jesus came into the world for everyone, Jew or Gentile.

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