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How do you count the 12 days of Christmas?


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#1 milovany

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:37 AM

Is Nativity (Dec. 25) day one?  Or is the day after day one?  I've seen it both ways online.  The book called Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas (an Orthodox book) starts with Dec. 26 as day one and calling Theophany the day 12.  I've tended to think of it the other way, with Nativity being day one and the day before Theophany day 12, because of the phrasing "The 12 days OF Christmas -- " with Nativity being a day OF Christmas. 

 

I've just been working on a plan for commemorating the 12 days in an Orthodox fashion, so wonder what your thoughts are. 

 

 



#2 Orthodox6

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:26 AM

Nativity = Day One



#3 milovany

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:19 AM

Nativity = Day One

 

I honestly think that's how most people would count it.  I guess I just found it odd that a book published on the subject, carried by many Orthodox shopping sites, calls Dec. 26 day 1 and Theophany Day 12, so I wondered if I was off.  Seems like that would have been "caught" before publishing. 
 



#4 Orthodox6

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:47 PM

Even the venerable [cough] Wikipedia says that for Orthodox Christians, Nativity is Day One. Could not be otherwise, if you think about it. Theophany comes after the close of the Nativity observance, and is "Day 13" (if one were to exist). Somebody wrote a book without studying history. It happens all the time.

#5 MaggieAnnie

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:32 PM

I agree with all the above ;)

Theophany is its own feast after all...

 

On a side note I celebrated 12th night as a child..going to a huge community masqueraded party every year...it was on Jan 5th. 

 

We save all our family (the six of us not extended family) gifts to exchange on Theophany ...partly to take the emphasis off  that whole boom its the 25th Christmas is over experience all around us. Partly as a hold over from when we were RC and Theophany was Epiphany=3 kings 



#6 myfatherslily

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:39 PM

Twelfth Night... ohhhhhhhh.... light bulb Shakespeare moment here...

Milovany, what kinds of things are you planning?  What do the rest of you do, if anything?



#7 MaggieAnnie

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:54 AM

some of our traditions...Ds has a names day and I have a b-day during the 12 days (I loathed than Christmas tide b-day as a kid!) so we will celebrate those days with Liturgy (ds loves serving on his names day)  and special dinners

 

on the feast of the holy innocents if it not too cold we go to the cemetery to see the memorial for the unborn and our own graveside for our 3 miscarried little ones. last year we made the candle center piece suggested in the book

 

Church service on new years eve then cheese and sausage plates (grandma sends them every year) and family games 

 

Litrugy and then we make st basils  bread and go for a family walk on new years/st basils day..we put out chocolate coins with the bread so even if one does not get THE coin you get a coin ;)

 

on the morning before theophany (12th day!) we open our family presents then work to take down the tree and then HEAVE it out the door yelling goodbye christmas at the top of our lungs...we used to have a balcony and it was so much fun to throw the tree off it. Then we clean the house up for Theophnay the next day. Gotta be clean for a house blessing!

 

We pack away all but a small portion of our Nativity scene/nature corner  which will be used again for Candlemas (presentation) in Feb.

 

hmm this makes me want to go find old pics and make plans...it is very quiet around here this morning...if I start a project this morning though I bet the kids will perk up and it will not be quiet anymore ha!

 

 



#8 Orthodox6

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:52 PM

Our priest really likes to hold all-night (literally) services whenever he has an opportunity.  His next one is for New Year's Eve/Night, with Liturgy guesstimated to begin at 3:00 A.M. 

 

I love this choice of date -- but have a realistic worry about driving home from church (26 miles including the bridge over the lake) right as the drunks topple into their cars to swerve their ways home. 

 

With a Vasilios in the family, January 1st always is a big day.  (His paternal grandfather always celebrated in a big way because not only was he a Vasilios, -- and Greeks celebrate everything in a big way -- but in the absence of records in 1894, it was guessed that his birthday also fell on January 1st.)  About twenty-five years ago, we had a blow-out celebration on our son's nameday, and invited the entire parish to our home.  It really was to honor the memory of Papou; however, our son gave us an additional excuse.  

 

Baking Vasilopeta, for sure.  We have a nineteenth-century Greek coin for "The Coin"; however, nobody gets to keep it, of course.

 

We stick with religiously-oriented gifts for namedays, no matter in which part of the year they fall. 

 

My favorite name day experience was with a friend, years ago.  His "spin" was to give gifts to all of his Orthodox friends on his own nameday.  I acquired a couple of matchless icon books from his generosity. 

 

A clean house for Theophany?  Not in my lifetime!  



#9 MaggieAnnie

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:29 PM

"Clean" is a relative term you know...luckily our priest has 7 kiddos of his own and they even home schooled for  a few years so I know his idea of clean is sympathetic !

 

But we try to make a solid day of effort :) and well if its dirty by the time Fr. fits our house blessing into his January calendar so be it...

 

I am glad it is not just our priest that seems to really enjoy  midnight services...I swear the later it gets the bigger his smile is!



#10 TheAutumnOak

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:33 PM

"Clean" is a relative term you know...luckily our priest has 7 kiddos of his own and they even home schooled for  a few years so I know his idea of clean is sympathetic !

 

But we try to make a solid day of effort :) and well if its dirty by the time Fr. fits our house blessing into his January calendar so be it...

 

I am glad it is not just our priest that seems to really enjoy  midnight services...I swear the later it gets the bigger his smile is!

 

That's funny because our priest has seven kids and also home schooled for some years...Does every priest have seven kids? :tongue_smilie:...Your priest isn't an Italian construction worker is he? ;) 




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