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Liturgical year

Christmastide (also Christmas or the Christmas season) is one of the seasons of the liturgical year of most Christian churches. It tends to be defined (with slight variations) as the period from Christmas Eve to the evening of 5 January, the day before Epiphany.[1][2] This period is also commonly known as the Twelve Days of Christmas, as referred to in the Christmas carol of the same name, or Yuletide, as in "Deck the Halls".

In the Church of England, however, Christmastide includes Epiphany and ends at Candlemas in early February, which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus Christ at the Temple. This is in keeping with the traditional liturgical significance of Forty Days. In the Roman Catholic Church, since Vatican II in the early 1960s, the Christmas season runs a shorter period, from Christmas Eve evening to the Sunday after Epiphany, the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord, after which Ordinary Time begins.

During the season, various festivities are traditionally enjoyed and buildings decorated. In some countries, by superstition it has become bad luck to leave the decorations up after Twelfth Night.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Christmastide. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.