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30th Dec 2023

This is when you should take down your Christmas decorations, according to tradition

Jody Coffey


It’s all over for another year

As the Christmas festivities have begun to die down and 2024 is in sight, the depressing task of taking down the seasonal decorations is approaching.

While some opt to get it done as soon as possible, others drag out the chore as long as they can – no judgement on either, by the way.

However, if you’re unsure or it’s your first time in a house where it’s your responsibility, it may just make the decision easier to just lock in the traditional date that Christmas decor comes down.

January 6th

Since the 1800s, tradition has been to remove all of our bright lights and tinsel on the Twelfth Day of Christmas – also known as Women’s Christmas, Little Christmas, Epiphany, Nollaig na mBan, and sometimes Women’s Little Christmas.

Regardless of what you call it, these names have one date in common: January 6th (although, some countries believe the Twelfth Day of Christmas to be January 5th).

This tradition says that taking your Christmas decorations down anytime before or after January 5th and 6th is unlucky.

If you’re superstitious, this narrows your timeframe down to these two days.

Why is it unlucky?

Long, long ago, many believed that January 5th was the final day of the Christmas festivities – the eve of Epiphany.

People believed that tree spirits, holly and ivy, provided shelter during the colder months and needed to release back outside after Christmas

It was feared that if the custom was not followed, their greenery would not return, and vegetation would fail to grow, resulting in agricultural and food issues.

While we do not share the same fears today, people still honour the superstition to avoid the possibility of bad luck for the year ahead.