28 responses to Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • Alice Aber
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 09:15)

    Thanks Erik!! This is a piece of history I don’t recall knowing anything about. I found it quite interesting. I would think it would have been very difficult to adjust to that drastic a change.

    Blessings, Alice

  • Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 09:16)

    Many Orthodox still keep the Old Calendar in the church. My Scottish ancestors kept it as “Little Christmas.”

  • Damon Hickey
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 10:27)

    “Old Christmas” was celebrated on January 5 (not 6) by the residents of Rodanthe on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, especially when they were more isolated than they are today (before they were connected by a bridge to the mainland). Part of their tradition is “Old Buck,” a four-footed, bull-like creature that is supposed to live in the forest during the rest of the year but appears at the Christmas party to dance and frolic.

    Some countries waited so long to adopt the Gregorian calendar because a Roman Catholic pope, Gregory XIII, had instituted it. Catholic countries adopted it, but Orthodox and Protestant countries refused until it had become the European standard.

    Coincidentally there are other traditions associated with January 6 that pre-date the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. For most western liturgical churches, January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany, which brings to a close the season of Christmastide (the “Twelve Days of Christmas”). Traditionally, the day has been associated in the West with the visit of the Magi (Wise Men) and in the East with the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist (the Feast of the Theophany). Both events constituted “epiphanies”: revelations of Jesus to the world.

    Because Epiphany was associated with the gifts of the Magi, it was also for some the day of gift-giving, or for others the end of the Christmas gift-giving season (“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …”). The night of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, has long been associated with partying.

    Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • Damon Hickey
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 10:32)

    The following is from “The British Monarchy” website (http://www.royal.gov.uk/RoyalEventsandCeremonies/Epiphany/Epiphany.aspx):

    A service of Holy Communion is celebrated on 6 January (Epiphany) each year in the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, when an offering of gold, frankincense and myrrh is made on behalf of The Queen. These are the gifts offered, according to tradition, by the Magi to the infant Jesus.

    This service has its origins in royal ceremonies which date back to the Norman Conquest. According to Psalm 72, the Wise Men were three kings, so it was fitting that an earthly king should make an offering at Epiphany. It became a crown-wearing day in the 15th century, and the Sovereign always attended the ceremony in person.

    George II, upset at the death of his daughter Princess Caroline, whose funeral took place on the eve of Epiphany in 1758, deputed his Lord Chamberlain to make the offerings.

    Nowadays, the offerings are made by two Gentlemen Ushers to The Queen, wearing service dress, who are escorted to the Royal Closet of the Chapel Royal by a detachment of The Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard.

    Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 11:28)

    Ditto to Alice’s comment. You go, Damon, you’re a walking history book ~ very interesting stuff and I love learning new things like that. Good job, as usual, Erik ~

  • Lucy
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 11:40)

    Forget Old Christmas, it’s Women’s Christmas in Ireland.

  • Alice Aber
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 12:05)

    Wow Damon!! Very interesting!! Lots of good info on the blog today!!

    Blessings, Alice

  • Lance
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 13:53)

    In the particularly conservative Amish group I spent time with, the Dec 25th Christmas was a holiday where you visited family, friends, the sick and bed-ridden. Epiphany was a holy day of special importance where you stayed home with your family and spent the day with the Bible. I do not remember if it was also a fast day.

  • I will second the ditto on Alice’s comment. Thanks for the background Damon!

    Lucy, I was not aware there was a Woman’s Christmas?

  • Lance that is interesting. What group were you with if I can ask?

    Old Christmas is not celebrated at all in some places. As I understand it is not observed in Lancaster Co. Though it would be in some Midwest communities, like Holmes Co.

  • Lance
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 15:37)

    Erik, sent you a private email about Amish community

  • ex-sell69
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 16:42)

    Yeah, but besides from my mom, I don’t hear any thing about ” old Christmas”. I mean, there is no “war on old Christmas” or anything [no presents either].It’s just another day for most people. Merry old Christmas!

  • Kimberly Musgrove Brewer
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 17:16)

    I wasnt aware of a Woman’s Christmas either but I like the sound of it! Thanks for the info Erik!

  • Slightly-handled-Order-man
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2011 at 22:12)

    In my family it is laughingly called “Skook’ur’ainian Christmas”, Skook’ur’rainian being, I presume, a bastardization of the word Ukrainian (one of my many heritages). In my family we occasionally enjoy perogies, or cabbage rolls and kielbasa at dinner (sometimes all three items). My family doesn’t take the observation of January 6/7 terribly seriously. But I have been told that, by more Orthodox Catholics, Christmas Eve is more important.

    Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • Christina
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 7th, 2011 at 01:00)

    In my Episcopal church, we celebrated Epiphany by having a Feast of Lights service. It is an older service that not many churches do anymore. The Biblical story is read (in short form) from Genesis up to the Crucifixion and carols are sung. Every time a name of a Biblical person is said in the story, a candle on the altar is lit. At the end when we get to the story about sending the Light into the world, we in the congregation pass the light to each other as we light our own candles. It’s very beautiful and relaxing. All you have to do is sit and listen to the Scriptures. And, as my priest says, if you haven’t gotten Christmas music out of your system, tonight’s the night! Afterward, we gather up the greens that have been decorating the church since Advent and take them out and burn them. Then everyone comes in for some fellowship and King’s cake.

    Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • Shom, love your family’s name. And I know pierogi and cabbage rolls well. There is an art to getting them right.

    Christina, sounds like a wonderful service.

  • Lucy
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 10th, 2011 at 10:24)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Christmas

  • Slightly-handled-Order-man
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 13th, 2011 at 22:16)

    Erik. Pierogies (however they’re spelled) and kielbasa are comfort foods to me, having grown up on them. People say macaroni and cheese is a comfort food, or fried chicken, but not to me. I’m quite satisfied to eat a leftover piece of a coil of kielbasa like it where a meaty smelly ice cream cone. Beautiful, oh, deborgah (I don’t know how to spell it, but supposedly it means “Praise God” in Ukrianian.
    I have fond memories of my father and his mother working on a makeshift production line style set up in our kitchen to make them. Same deal for cabbage rolls.

    Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • Slightly-handled-Order-man
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 13th, 2011 at 22:18)

    …My father and granny making pierogies I mean….

  • Sarah
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 4th, 2012 at 16:13)

    We still celebrate

    Jan. 6 ends a month of celebrating at our home. We start the season with Krampusnacht/St. Nick’s Day and go through Christmas, until we get to Old Christmas/Bufana’s Day. I grew up in a Presbyterian Church, and we would have a short Epiphany service, and then we would burn the Christmon tree and greenery in the church with paper bags filled with frankincense and myrrh. It always attracted a lot of attention since the church was down town.

    Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • sherry
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2012 at 10:00)

    Old Christmas

    We had some amish friends from Indiana come for a visit the week after Christmas.And they Celebrate this day Old Christmas they were having friends and family over at their house. we had a wonderful visit and time together and many laughs with all ten of them now it is our turn to go and visit them.

  • Lee Ann
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2012 at 11:07)

    Interesting to learn of Old Christmas and Women’s Christmas. I love this blog and all I am learning through it.

    Damon, thanks for the history lesson!

    Would love more information where the Scot-Irish people are in Tenn. as this is what my husband’s heritage is.

  • Charlotte
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2012 at 17:44)

    Shifting to new calendar

    “Making the switch to the Gregorian calendar must have been interesting. You would go to sleep one day and wake up “ten days later”.”

    Especially interesting in the case of St. Teresa of Avila, who happened to die on the day before the switch, so her saint day was the next day, which was 10 days later.

  • Amy Bowden
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 8th, 2012 at 20:37)

    Old Christmas

    It was an irony that on January 6th (last Friday as I write this) was the day a friend and I decided to go visit the Amish community of Shipshewana. Many of the stores were closed and there were very few (like maybe, three) buggies on the road. We were really confused why the town was so quiet until we heard about it being a holiday. Just our luck. We were kind of disappointed to have driven so far. Something you wouldn’t think to check.

    Amish celebrate Old Christmas today

  • Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (December 24th, 2012 at 11:12)

    Thanks for the history lesson, Erik! I never heard of ‘old Christmas’. But Hutterites observe Epiphany on the 6th of January as well. It’s like a Sunday with the church services dedicated to the Wisemen.

  • Carol Brigid
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2013 at 18:45)

    Very interesting reading! I have heard the terms Old Christmas, Second Christmas in my readings.

    My church, the Russian Orthodox church, celebrated Theophany today, which technically I guess is equivalent to Epiphany.

  • Jim Shuster
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2013 at 21:35)

    Why?

    If it is not in the Bible…why practice it. Thats how heretical traditions get started. Especially, when there is talk of receiving special blessings for feats like diving into and retrieving from the water a cross.

  • Carolyn B
    Comment on Amish celebrate Old Christmas today (January 6th, 2013 at 23:20)

    Erik, thanks for bringing this thread back up on Facebook today. I enjoyed the history lesson as well as the many comments.

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