Christmas and New Year has passed and we are all left wondering: When should we take down our Christmas tree and decorations? If you're desperate to cling on to that festive spirit, you'll be pleased to know that the 5th or 6th of January could be the answer, depending on which Christian calendar you follow.
Most of the tradition around the taking down of Christmas decorations is centred around the tree because, back in the day, that was likely the only decoration. Traditionally, the Christmas tree should stay up until the 'Twelfth Night' (more on this, and the exact date of when that is, below).
In modern times, however, Christmas decorations have got bigger and spread all over the inside and outside of our homes. In terms of wider decorations – like lights in our gardens – there are fewer dictating traditions.
It's important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer. Some people prefer to keep decorations up longer to ease the January blues, while others can't wait to pack them away and have a deep clean.
Answer from a Christian Tradition
Christian tradition says your Christmas tree should stay up until the 'Twelfth Night', which celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men, or Magi, who followed the star of Bethlehem to bring their gifts to baby Jesus.
When is the Twelfth Night?
The answer isn't as straightforward as you might think. While Christian tradition dictates advent is the four weeks prior to Christmas Eve (24th December), starting on a Sunday, different beliefs make the post-Christmas period harder to define, especially the Twelfth Night.
When to take your Christmas tree down is all dependant on when you start counting the '12 Days of Christmas', if you're going by tradition.
The Church of England counts from Christmas Day, so the Twelfth Night always falls on 5th January. But other denominations, including the Catholic Church, start counting the 12 Days of Christmas from Boxing Day, so the 6th January is the Twelfth Night and also Epiphany.