Are You Superstitious? Then You Shouldn't Have Removed Your Christmas Tree Before Yesterday

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.07 - 2024 9:35 PM CET

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According to tradition, the right time to take down your Christmas tree is a matter of superstition and history.

Traditionally, all Christmas decorations, including the tree, should be removed on the twelfth night after December 25th, which falls between January 5th and 6th.

This period corresponds to the journey of the Magi, who arrived 12 days after Christmas to bring their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Removing decorations before this date is believed to prematurely end their journey, bringing bad luck.

According to AD-Italia, ancient traditions dating back to the 4th century held that spirits lived in natural decorations like mistletoe or holly, and removing these decorations at the right time was essential. If they were still present in the home after Epiphany, the spirits had nowhere to escape and would vanish, hindering nature's flourishing in the following year and leading to poor harvests and famine. Therefore, removing decorations between the night of January 5th and 6th was crucial.

While these superstitions persist, sometimes without recalling their origins, they tend to blend with other beliefs. In the 18th century, for example, it was customary to remove decorations on Candlemas Eve, February 2nd. This date marked the end of Christ's journey and his early childhood.

All decorations symbolizing these events were to be removed in conjunction with the end of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

While the sense of tradition tends to fade over time, more recently, it has become customary to remove all decorations as soon as January 1st arrives. However, if maintaining the festive spirit in your home as long as possible is a priority, there's at least some justification for keeping them up until February 2nd and enjoying your best winter tea.