Annie's Twelfth Night Page


"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold,
there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King
of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
Matthew 2:1-2~

Well, I don't know about you but I didn't know what 12th Night meant until I did the
research for this page. I have always known that it was a title of a Shakespeare play but
that was the extent of my knowledge. As you can tell from the background and the image
of the
wisemen above it does have something to do with Christmas. So let's learn
about it together.

Twelfth Night & Day both fall in the month of January:

Click the calendar to see a listing of all the Verse & Month of Pages
January 5th is Twelfth Night:
Evening before Epiphany. Marks end of the 12-day season of Christmas festivities.
Children leave their shoes in front of the door to be filled with sweets. On the Twelfth
Night Christmas decorations are usually taken down. The eve of Epiphany is called
Twelfth Night, and the day itself is sometimes referred to as Twelfth Day.

January 6th is Twelfth Day:
The 12th day after Christmas, when the three Wise Men visited Jesus. Observed as
Christmas in Spain and as Befana Day in Italy. Also called Epiphany and Three Kings Day.

Here is what The World Book Encyclopedia
says about the holiday "Twelfth Night":
""Twelfth Night is a Christian holiday celebrated 12 days after Christmas, on January 6.
It marks the end of the Christmas season. Christians also observe the Feast of Epiphany
on January 6. In Western Christian churches, this holiday commemorates the coming of
the wise men to the Christ child. Among Eastern Christians, Twelfth Night celebrates the
baptism of Jesus. In Italy and Spain, children still receive gifts on this day in
remembrance of the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus. In the Greek Orthodox Church,
the Blessing of the Waters takes place on January 6. In the ceremony, divers retrieve a
cross thrown into a body of water by a priest.
Twelfth Night was originally celebrated in the Middle Ages at the end of the 12 days of
Christmas. William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night was possibly first performed
on January 6."

Twelfth Night - What does the Bible say about this holiday?

"Twelfth Night" or "Epiphany" were not found in the Bible when I did a Bible search.
Actually the Bible doesn't even "specifically" say that Jesus was born on December 25th.
The Bible doesn't say the exact number of the wise men. There may have been 3 and
there may have been more. We just don't know for certain. The Bible doesn't tell us that
the Wisemen were even at the manger. We do know that the Wisemen went to see Herod
before they did eventually arrive to see the "child" Jesus.
For more information about this visit:
Annie's Wisemen Page

What is the significance of the number 12?

Open Bible
There are many "12"'s in the
The 12 minor prophets & there were 12 disciples or apostles:

There are 197 verses with the word "twelve" in the Bible.
"Twelfth Night" or "Epiphany" were not found in the Bible.
"Twelfth" is in 31 verses in the Bible-KJV.

Smith's Bible Dictionary has a page with information about different numbers.
It says this about TWELVE:

  • "Twelve (3X4) appears in 12 tribes 12 stones in the high priest’s breastplate, 12 apostles, 12 foundation-stones, and 12 gates. (Revelation 21:19-21)"
  • Here is what Compton's says about the apostles:
    "During his earthly ministry, Jesus, after whom the Christian religion is named, gathered
    many followers. These people were called disciples, or learners. Of the many disciples that
    Jesus had, there were 12 who formed an inner circle. After his death and resurrection,
    there were 11 disciples left, because Judas--who had betrayed Jesus--killed himself.

    To replace Judas, the other disciples chose a man named Matthias. He and the other 11
    were sent out by Jesus as "apostles." The word is derived from a Greek term meaning "one
    sent forth." The other apostles were Simon (called Peter); Andrew, Simon's brother;
    James the Elder (son of Zebedee); John, James the Elder's brother; Philip;
    Bartholomew; Matthew (or Levi); Thomas; James the Younger; Judas (or Thaddeus,
    brother of James the Younger); and Simon Zelotes."

    Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
    ~This information is from The World Book Encyclopedia~

    Twelfth Night, a comedy partly based on a story in Farewell to Military Profession, a
    collection of tales by the English author Barnabe Riche. Probably first performed in 1600.
    First published in 1623.

    Some of Shakespeare's romantic comedies might almost be called "musical comedies."
    Twelfth Night, for example, includes instrumental serenades and rousing drinking songs as
    well as other songs ranging from sad to comic.

    In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare created a perfect blend of sentiment and humor. In
    addition, he provided Feste, Olivia's clown, with witty comments on the foolish ways of
    people. Feste's songs contribute both gaiety and sadness to the mood of the play. In one
    famous song, he reminds the audience that they should enjoy the present because
    nobody can know what the future will bring:

    "What is love? 'Tis not hereafter;
    Present mirth hath present laughter;
    What's to come is still unsure:
    In delay there lies no plenty;
    Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty!
    Youth's a stuff will not endure."
    ~From Twelfth Night~

    Does the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" have
    something to do with this holiday?

    Epiphany falls on the 12th day after Christmas. The song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
    refers to the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany. The song "The Twelve Days of
    Christmas" and is not exactly what it appears to be but yes it does have something to do
    with Twelfth Night & Day for that matter.

    The Spiritual meanings of The Twelve Days of
    Christmas Song:

    The other symbols mean the following:
    2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
    3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
    4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
    5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
    6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
    7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
    8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
    9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
    10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
    11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
    12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

    Quoted from
    The Origins of The Twelve Days of Christmas

    Twelve Days of Christmas Links:
    The Origins of The Twelve Days of Christmas
    Twelve Days of Christmas Revised for the Modern World
    The words to the song
    The Twelve Days of Christmas
    Twelve Days of Christmas Word Search
    Twelve Days of Christmas with the original words and the current ones too
    The Twelve Days of Christmas - Illustrated!
    The Twelve Days of Christmas - the words and the musical notes too
    Twelfth Day Cake
    What, exactly, are the 12 days of Christmas? &
    What are the 12 Days of Christmas? from

    Related Pages by Annie:
    Annie's Christmas Page
    Annie's Wisemen Page
    Annie's Christmas History Page
    Annie's Epiphany Page

    For January Holidays:
    Annie's "Month of January" Page
    Annie's January Verse A Day Page

    Send a FREE Email Greeting Card:
    6th Jan - Epiphany Day
    5th Jan - Twelfth Night
    7th Jan - Orthodox Christmas

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