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Posted by on in Studies Blogs


Most people today in America are familiar with the Twelve Days of Christmas carol, detailing twelve days of more and more elaborate gifts, much to the delight of modern retail to encourage us to shop more for the holiday. It is an English folk song and possibly there is a correlation between each of the twelve days, and the upcoming twelve months, but if there was any deeper insight, or folk custom coded into the song, it appears to be lost or garbled to us today. The overall concept of the song, if not the direct inspiration, is based upon the twelve days of Yule.

This Yuletide season went beyond a simple one or two day celebration, and lasted for twelve days and thirteen nights in the Germanic, Norse and English traditions, though at times it the season could have lasted a month or even two. In terms of magickal currents, we can even see the season starting as early as Hallow's, or our sabbat of Samhain. The familiar customs of Yule, such as evergreen trees, holly and mistletoe, were then absorbed and adapted into Christian celebrations when the birth of Christ was shifted to fit the holidays of a more Pagan calendar. Christian celebrations usually start with Christmas, and the twelfth night then being January 5th. Others in more Pagan traditions start counting at the Winter Solstice, of the eve of the Winter Solstice.

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