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December Holy Days and Festivals

1
St Eligius (ca. 588-659)

2
St Viviana (fourth century)

4
St Barbara (fourth century)
St Osmund (d. 1099)

5
St Crispina of Tagora (d. 304)
St Sabus (439-532)

6
St Nicholas (d. ca. 342)

7
St Ambrose (ca. 340-397)

8
St Budo (sixth century)

9
St Leocadia (d. 304)

10
St Eulalia of Merida (d. ca. 304)

11
St Damascus (306-384)
St Daniel the Stylite (408-493)

12
St Finnian (d. 549)
St Walaric (d. 620)

13
St Lucy (d. ca. 304)

14
St Spiridon of Corfu (fourth century)

16
St Adelaide (931-999)

17
St Olympias (ca. 368-410)

18
St Samthann (d. 739)

19
St Nemesion (d. 250)

20
St Dominic of Silos (d. 1073)

22
St Ischyrion (d. 250)

23
St John of Kanti (1390-1473)

24
Celtic tree month Beth (Birch) begins

25
St Anastasia (d. 304)

Christmas: This holiday begins on Christmas Eve and runs to Twelfth Night. The number twelve played an important role - there were twelve candelabrum, twelve kisses or gifts exchanged beneath the mistletoe, twelve wassailings, twelve courses, and twelve sprigs of holly per bunch. One necessity was the yule log, a log so large it would burn for the full twelve days. The feast began with a highly decorated and carefully carved yule candle being placed on the high table in the hall.

Between courses, games and music were played. Wassailing the Milly was also performed. This was done with singers or musicians circling the hall singing carols and carrying a box that contained renderings of the Virgin and the Child. Gifts were placed in the box as an offering, and at the end the gifts were given as alms to the poor.

26
St Stephen (first century)

27
St John (first century)

29
St Thomas a Becket (1117-1170)

31
St Sylvester (d. 335).

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