On The Fourth Day Of Christmas

Herod the Great was a ruthless King, scared of loosing his power and throne, so when he learned of the birth of the Christ, a King foretold from the line of King David had been born in the Bethlehem area he issued an order that all male infants in the area should be slaughtered, hoping to do away with this perceived threat to his throne and power.

The murdered infants never had an opportunity to know of Jesus, however they all died for the sake of Christ and today the Church remembers them – The Holy Innocents.

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4 thoughts on “On The Fourth Day Of Christmas

  1. Sorry Lissa it isn’t being changed. The first day of Christmas is Christmas Day, the last day of Christmas is the 5th of January. The 6th of January is the start of a new season, that of Epiphany. The mistake you make is common, as people tend to remove their decorations on the 6th and thus think it is the last day of Christmas, it isn’t. You might be intrested in a post I plan to make on the 6th after my recent trip.

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  2. I quite agree that Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th: it is also called Twlelfth Night or the Twelfth Day of or after Christmas, and has been for centuries. You may well be right in regarding 5th January as the last day of Christmas according to the lectionary, although that does beg the question of why it is also known as Old Christmas Day and is still celebrated as such in many parts of the world. However tradition, history and the English language tell us that January 6th, Epiphany, The Feast of the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, The Feast of Misrule or Twelfth Night is also known as The Twelfth Day of Christmas, and that is not a mistake.

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  3. Just found this on another blog:

    The actual date for Twelfth Night has caused much confusion and still does today. This is because the words ‘eve’ and ‘night’ mean something different to what our ancestors considered them to be.

    It is only with our modern understanding of astronomy and timekeeping that we start a new day in the middle of the night. To our ancient ancestors, the end of the day was when the sun went down. The oncoming night was the beginning of the next day.

    Nights were actually part of the holiday – i.e. the next day. Christmas started at sunset on December 24. They considered this to be Christmas Evening (or ‘Christmas Eve’). Christmas would then continue to nightfall on December 25th, which started St. Stephen’s Day, the first of the Twelve Days Of Christmas.

    To our ancient ancestors, the Twelfth night after Christmas would have been the evening starting January 6, Epiphany, the twelfth and final day of the Christmas season.

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  4. Lissa I have decided that rather than post a full answer to these comments here I am posting going to make it a new post. In this comment I am only going to deal with the blog post you mention.

    According to that post – Nightfall on December 25th is the beginning of the first day of Christmas, which would continue to nightfall on the 26th, which would begin the 2nd day of Christmas. So far so good, you might be thinking, but if you continue that premise and what do you discover? 3rd day nightfall 27th, 4th day nightfall 28th, 5th day nightfall 29th, 6th day nightfall 30th, 7th day nightfall 31st, 8th day nightfall 1st Jan, 9th day 2nd, 10th day 3rd, 11th day 4th and the 12th day of Christmas begins at nightfall on the 5th of January, the 12th night of Christmas. Using this system nightfall comes before day break, so while using this flawed method the 12th day of Christmas could be the 6th, the 12th night has already been and gone.

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