The 12th night ( 5th January ) is the night when the christmas decorations should come down. If they dont come down then it would bring bad luck upon your house. Long ago people thought that leaving them up would bring disaster. They also thought that tree spirts lived in the holly, ivy etc. In Tudor England the 12th night is the end of the winter festival that started on Hallow’s Eve (Halloween). After the twelth night the carnival season starts which runs through Mardi Gras. To our ancestors the twelth night was the night before the sixth of January, the last day of the christmas season. The acual date for the twelth night has caused much confusion over the years.
The twelth day of christmas is the last day in the christmas season. The twelve days of christmas are the last six days of the year and the first six of the new. In Engalnd traditionally the twelve days were filled with parties, dancing and continous feasting. During the twelve days people would vist their neighbours and bring traditional christmas foods like mince pies. A yule log was kept alight for the twelve day and if went out it was a considered a bad omen.The twelve days were considered a welcomed break for the people who work on the land which was most of the people back then.The christmas season used to last until the 2nd of Febuary but was shortened.