Thursday, January 13, 2011

20th Day Canute

Christmas is over now. "20th Day's Canute chases away Christmas" was a saying in Norway. In Norway, Sweden and Finland there are long traditions for ending Christmas on January 13th, and it goes back to King Canute who, 1000 years ago, declared that Christmas was to last from St. Lucia (December 13th) until January 13th. This day is called "St Canute's day" now. After the Julian calendar, Christmas was January 6th, and New Year was January 13th. For a long time the Julian calendar was very present in people's minds, and this is probably some of the reason for letting Christmas go on until the 20th Day of Christmas.
Still today Christmas is celebrated on January 6th in Russia and Eastern Europe.
But, whether you end Christmas on December 26th, Epiphany (January 6th) or St. Canute's Day (January 13th), I guess we all can agree that it's over now.
Even though there are Christmas lights up here and there, and that is sort of nice anyway, during this dark time of the year.
King Canute / Kong Knut
Ja, da var jula over.  "20. dags Knut jager jula ut", sa man i gamle dager her i landet.  Å avslutte jula 13. januar har lange tradisjoner i Norge, Sverige og Finland, og det stammer fra Kong Knuts befaling for 1000 år siden om at jula skulle vare fra Luciadagen 13. desember til 13. januar.  Etter den Julianske kalenderen, som også de norske primstavene er laget over, var juledagen 6. januar, og nyttår var 13. januar.  I lang tid satt den julianske kalenderen fast i vanlige menneskers bevissthet, og dette er nok noe av grunnen til at det var vanlig å la jula vare til 20. juledag. 
Fortsatt feires jula den 6. januar i Østkirken (Russland, Øst-Europa.)
Men enten man setter stopp for jula 2. juledag, Helligtrekongersdagen (6. januar) eller St. Knut (13. januar), kan vi vel alle være enige om at nå er jula over. 
Selv om det henger igjen noen lyslenker her og der, og det er i grunn ganske hyggelig, i disse mørketider.



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