Old Christmas

Monday is Old Christmas. This day is commonly celebrated by the Amish in America.

Three Wise Men - The Three Magi - Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar - Wise Men - OrientI have seen two explanations for this day so I will share both of them.

First, since it goes along with the picture above, January 6 is celebrated as the day when the Three Wise Men visited Christ and gave their gifts.

W. Belch - December - London > Norwich - Horses and Coach - 12 Days of ChristmasThis is also 12 days after Christmas and is the end of the 12 days of Christmas.

This day is also known as Epiphany as it is the day that Christ was revealed. Different religious traditions differ as to which event in Christ’s life is celebrated. Some celebrate the visit of the three wise men while others celebrate either the first miracle at the wedding at Cana or the baptism of Jesus.  Although this is sometimes given as the reason for Old Christmas this is unlikely why the Amish celebrate the day.

Calendars.com, 2019 calendars, New YearA better explanation for celebrating Old Christmas is the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. When the calendar changed in 1582 the Catholic church set the date of Christmas to December 25.  Many protestant groups, including the Amish, continued to use the older Gregorian calendar for holidays. This is why it is referred to as Old Christmas.

ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, turkey, rollsOld Christmas is celebrated a bit different than Christmas. There is still a large gathering of family together and the sharing of a feast. However, the Amish fast until noon on this day and the feast is in the afternoon or evening.


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1 Response to Old Christmas

  1. Some reason I have enjoyed the search. after Christmas. Wasn’t raised Amish yet I respect their ways of simple living. Several years I decorate and give gifts around New Years.

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