Tomorrow is the twelfth day of Christmas, Christmas day being day one and January Fifth, Epiphany Eve, being day twelve. Epiphany marks the date when traditionally the three wise men arrive at Bethlehem.
These same holy days appear in both the Roman Catholic and Church of England liturgical calendars, fixing the dates for Shrove or Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, the remainder of Lent and of course the Easter holy days. These dates are as clearly marked in my memory as is my birthday, Armistice day or Guy Fawkes night. Britannia was, is and I would suggest always will be a nation ordered by its national religion, as laid down by parliamentary law, largely in accordance with theprecepts drawn by Henry VIII [first supreme head of the Church of England], and James VI of Scotland (James I of England, Wales and Ireland and sponsor of the King James translation of the Bible) and a few notable monarchs since.
The 4th January is he date most Brits will make a start on removing Christmas decorations, which need so be safely packed away by twelfth night to ensure no misfortune befalls.