Do You Leave Christmas Decorations up for New Years? Discover the Symbolism and Traditions Behind It

Do You Leave Christmas Decorations up for New Years?

Yes, many people do leave their Christmas decorations up for New Year’s.

Some people find comfort in the festive atmosphere that the decorations create, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when social gatherings and celebrations may be limited.

Additionally, leaving decorations up until Twelfth Night, which falls on January 5th or January 6th, is a tradition in some cultures.

This is because Twelfth Night marks the end of the Christmas season and the arrival of Epiphany, when the wise men visited baby Jesus.

In Europe, particularly among Germans, Poles, and Czechs, it is believed that taking down decorations before these dates could bring bad luck.

After the festive season, many people store their Christmas decorations in watertight plastic boxes with tissue paper to keep them protected until the next year.

Some religious denominations, such as the Church of England and Roman Catholics, might also keep decorations up until Candlemas, which falls on February 2nd.

For those looking to be environmentally friendly, there are options for recycling or composting Christmas trees.

Local parks and woodland areas may have wood chipping services, and councils often provide garden waste collections or drop-off points.

Additionally, garden centres sometimes offer potted Christmas trees that can be rented, reducing the carbon footprint associated with artificial trees.

Key Points:

  • Many people choose to leave their Christmas decorations up for New Year’s, finding comfort in the festive atmosphere.
  • In some cultures, it is a tradition to leave decorations up until Twelfth Night on January 5th or 6th.
  • Taking down decorations before these dates is believed to bring bad luck among Europeans, especially Germans, Poles, and Czechs.
  • Some religious denominations keep decorations up until Candlemas on February 2nd.
  • People often store their Christmas decorations in watertight plastic boxes with tissue paper for protection until the next year.
  • There are environmentally-friendly options for recycling or composting Christmas trees, including wood chipping services in parks, garden waste collections, and rental of potted trees to reduce carbon footprint.

Did You Know?

1. In ancient Rome, the month of January was named after the Roman god Janus, who was often depicted with two faces – one facing the past and one facing the future. This symbolizes the transition from the old year to the new year, which is why many people leave their Christmas decorations up until New Year’s Day.

2. The tradition of leaving Christmas decorations up until New Year’s Day is believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. In some cultures, it is believed that removing decorations too soon may cause bad luck or bring misfortune for the year ahead.

3. In ancient Celtic folklore, the winter solstice festival (which Christmas celebrations were later adapted from) marked the rebirth of the sun. Many spent this time decorating their homes with evergreen plants and other ornaments to symbolize the returning life and vitality of nature.

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4. Prior to the introduction of modern artificial Christmas trees, people would often leave their real Christmas trees up until New Year’s Day to ensure they were properly dried out before disposal. If trees were left indoors for too long, they would become a fire hazard, so it became customary to take them down after New Year’s.

5. The idea of leaving decorations up until New Year’s Day likely originated from the 12 Days of Christmas tradition. In the Christian faith, these days symbolize the time between the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day and the arrival of the three wise men on the Feast of Epiphany (January 6th). Keeping decorations up until the end of the 12 days was seen as a way to honor this significant religious period.

Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected our lives and traditions, particularly our approach to celebrating the holiday season. Due to restrictions on gatherings and concerns about the spread of the virus, a growing number of individuals have made the decision to leave their Christmas decorations up until New Year’s. In normal circumstances, it is customary to take down festive adornments on January 1st and embrace the new year with a fresh start. However, during these uncertain times, keeping the decorations up serves as a source of comfort and familiarity amidst the continuous change and uncertainty.

  • Many people are choosing to extend the duration of their holiday decorations due to the ongoing pandemic.
  • The decision to leave decorations up until New Year’s is driven by a desire for comfort and familiarity in these uncertain times.

Comfort

Christmas decorations have the unique ability to create a cozy and festive atmosphere. The twinkling lights, colorful ornaments, and fragrant evergreen trees engulf the home in warmth and joy. After the holiday season, when winter is still in full swing, leaving the decorations up can help maintain that sense of comfort during the cold and dark months. The soft glow of lights and the cheerful ambiance they create can be a source of solace and respite, reminding us of the joy and togetherness that the holiday season brings.

While some may argue that leaving Christmas decorations up for too long can diminish their impact and become tiresome, the extended presence of these festive ornaments can serve as a reminder of the spirit of giving, kindness, and hope that the holiday season represents.

Twelfth Night

One tradition that influences the decision of when to take down Christmas decorations is the observance of Twelfth Night, which falls on January 5th or 6th, depending on the calendar used. Twelfth Night marks the end of the Christmas season and is associated with various customs and superstitions. In some cultures, it is believed that leaving decorations up beyond Twelfth Night brings bad luck or signifies laziness. Conversely, removing them before this date is said to prevent bad luck and ensure good fortune for the coming year.

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Superstition

Many superstitions and beliefs surround the timing of removing Christmas decorations. Failing to take them down before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is believed to bring bad luck. However, another tradition followed by many is waiting until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, which commemorates the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. According to this tradition, it is believed that this is the proper date for taking down decorations in order to avoid any ill fortune.

In Europe, particularly in countries like Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, it is common to leave decorations up until January 6th. This is because of the belief that tree-spirits reside in the evergreens used for Christmas trees, and it is considered disrespectful to remove them before this date. These cultural traditions and superstitions have been passed down through generations, adding a touch of mystique and intrigue to the practice of leaving decorations up for New Year’s.

  • Failing to take down decorations before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is believed to bring bad luck.
  • Another tradition is waiting until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th.
  • In Europe, particularly in countries like Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, it is common to leave decorations up until January 6th.
  • There is a belief that tree-spirits reside in the evergreens used for Christmas trees, making it disrespectful to remove them before this date.

Storing Christmas Decorations

Once the decision has been made to take down the Christmas decorations, it is essential to store them properly to ensure their longevity for future holidays. Storing decorations in watertight plastic boxes helps protect them from moisture and pests. Wrapping fragile ornaments in tissue paper or bubble wrap adds an extra layer of protection.

According to superstition, it is bad luck to keep Christmas decorations up beyond Twelfth Night, so many people are eager to take them down promptly. However, for those who choose to leave them up, it is crucial to store them in a safe and organized manner. Proper storage not only ensures that the decorations will remain intact but also makes the process of decorating the following year more efficient.

Whether you choose to take down your Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night or keep them up until later in January, it is important to consider the symbolism and traditions behind this decision. The extended presence of decorations during these challenging times can provide comfort and a sense of continuity.

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So, as the holiday season comes to a close and the new year begins, remember to store your decorations carefully, ready to be enjoyed again when the next festive season arrives.

  • Store decorations in watertight plastic boxes to protect from moisture and pests
  • Wrap fragile ornaments in tissue paper or bubble wrap for added protection
  • Proper storage ensures decorations remain intact and makes next year’s decorating more efficient

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should you take Christmas decorations down on New Year’s Day?

While some may argue that Christmas decorations should be taken down on Twelfth Night, which falls on January 5th, the decision ultimately depends on personal beliefs and superstitions. For those who adhere to tradition, keeping decorations up until Twelfth Night is considered to bring good luck for the coming year. However, others may prefer to remove the decorations before returning to work after the holiday break, considering it more practical and efficient. Ultimately, the choice of when to take down Christmas decorations is subjective and based on individual preference.

Is it OK to take Christmas decorations down on New Years Eve?

According to another tradition, it is considered auspicious to take down Christmas decorations on New Year’s Eve, before midnight strikes. This practice is said to ward off any potential bad luck in the coming year, ensuring a fresh start. While both customs exist, adhering to this superstition can provide a sense of closure to the holiday season and a hopeful beginning to the year ahead. Ultimately, it is a personal choice rooted in belief and tradition.

How long do you keep up Christmas decorations?

While traditions often dictate taking down Christmas decorations on January 5 or 6, the duration you choose to keep them up is ultimately a personal decision. Some individuals may opt to extend the festive ambiance by leaving their decorations up for a longer period. Whether it be due to a fondness for the cheerful atmosphere created by the intricate ornaments or simply wanting to savor the holiday spirit a little while longer, the timeline for removing Christmas decorations can vary based on individual preferences.

Do people leave Christmas decorations up all year?

While tradition suggests taking down Christmas decorations on January 6th, some individuals choose to leave them up all year long. This unique practice is often driven by personal preferences and sentimental reasons. For some, keeping Christmas decorations up year-round allows them to maintain a festive and joyful atmosphere throughout the entire year, creating a continuous sense of warmth, cheer, and nostalgia in their homes. Others may appreciate the aesthetic appeal of twinkling lights and colorful ornaments, finding solace in the comforting ambiance they create. Ultimately, leaving Christmas decorations up all year is a matter of personal expression, bringing a touch of holiday spirit into everyday life.

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