While there are countries where people only celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there are others where the Christmas holiday is extended, and people celebrate the 2nd or even 3rd day of Christmas. Let’s take a look at some of these celebrations around the world and explore them a little further.
The 12 Days of Christmas
Simply put, the 12 Days of Christmas is the period that falls between the birth of Christ and the arrival of the Magi, known as The Three Wise Men. Between these two dates fall a variety of different holidays that do one of several things. They either highlight the true meaning of the holiday, celebrate various saints, or simply give people another day off.
St. Stephen’s Day, Boxing Day, Second Day of Christmas (December 26th)
St. Stephen’s Day and Boxing Day are holidays that fall on December 26th, and in many countries, they are interchangeable. There are several regions and/or countries that observe this holiday as a Second (or Day After) Christmas Day, some of which we’ll detail below:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- United States (KS, NC, SC, TX)
The Feast Day of Saint John (December 27th)
Some countries also observe December 27th as the Feast Day of Saint John. Countries that observe this holiday as an extension of their Christmas season include the following:
- Balearic Islands
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
- North Macedonia
It should be noted that the Falkland Islands don’t observe this day specifically for the Feast Day of Saint John, but it is instead determined by the Public Holiday Act enacted by the Executive Council of the Falkland Islands as an additional rest day.
The Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28th)
In Bulgaria, and perhaps other Eastern Orthodox countries, the Feast of the Holy Innocents is observed as the Third Day of Christmas. The Christmas season in Bulgaria extends from December 25th to December 28th every year. Even though Bulgaria is an Eastern Orthodox country, the 25th is observed as Christmas because the Eastern Orthodox Church of Bulgaria follows the Gregorian calendar and not the Julian calendar.