I think tonight is Twelfth Night. I know that Twelfth Night used to be considered the highlight of the Christmas season, but the fact that a history nut like me is not even sure when it falls is an indication that this holiday doesn’t mean much in our society these days.
Twelfth Night is part of the twelve days of Christmas that stretch from Christmas day to Epiphany, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi or wise men who came to pay homage to the baby Jesus. Epiphany is set for January 6, which is just as arbitrary as deciding that Jesus was born on December 25 on a calendar that hadn’t been invented yet. Scholars can’t even decisively determine what year Jesus was born, let alone what month or day. And the wise travelers following the star probably arrived a little more than twelve days after his birth. Historians believe Jesus was a toddler by the time they made it, since Herod ordered the killing of all boys under age two. (more…)