Twelve Nights of Christmas - Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Twelve Nights of Christmas
Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days

See also Yule.

The famous Christmas carol celebrates the gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. Witches celebrate during the twelve nights. Ever wonder why the Wild Hunt rides at Christmas time?

According to ancient Celtic, German, Greek, Roman, and Slavic calendars, a gap in time occurs in midwinter for twelve nights, which now correspond to the Twelve Nights of Christmas. This period begins with what is now Christmas Eve and continues until what is now the Feast of the Epiphany.

During this period, there’s a gap, a void where the veil between realms is particularly thin or even non-existent. During these twelve days and nights, the dead roam the Earth and the Spirits join together with their devotees.

Known in Germanic lands as the “Zwölften” or “Twolven,” this was the time when Woden and Frigg held forth.

The Twelve Nights are a wild, raucous time devoted to merry-making, gift-giving, masquerading, divination, spell-casting, and magic ritual. Festivities during this period once had more in common with Valentine’s Day or romantic Halloween celebrations than with modern conventional, staid Christmas devotions.