Friday is known as Old Christmas and is commonly celebrated by the Amish in America.
So, why is Friday known as Old Christmas?
First, January 6 is celebrated as the day when the Three Wise Men visited Christ and gave their gifts.
This is also 12 days after Christmas and is the end of the 12 days of Christmas.
Another name for today is Little Christmas for this reason.
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.
Basically, Epiphany and Old Christmas are celebrating different events.
A 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.
Old 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.