There is certainly some liturgical significance to the celebration of the
"three days of Christmas" though I don't really know what it is. But in the
Life of the seventh century saint Rictrude (written about 907) the author
notes that she contained her grief for her daughter who died at Christmas
time throughout the celebration of the three days (Christmas, St. Stephen's
and St. John the Evangelist's) and gave way only on the feast of the
Innocents when a display of mourning was appropriate.
From: Ferzoco, G.P. <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Saturday, December 09, 2000 5:02 AM
Subject: Re: days of xmas?
>Thanks for this interesting query to the list; I (for one) had no inkling
>such celebrations. Do the sources make clear if this was in some way a
>liturgical extension of celebrations of the birth of Christ, or the
>crusading equivalent of an office party that would get out of hand and last
>for a few days? Does just one source mention this, or several?
>Looking forward to office parties,
>From: Dana Cushing / Austrechild
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Sent: 12/8/2000 7:33 PM
>Subject: days of xmas?
>>My question is concerning a book on medieval military history I'm
>>and has to do with the celebration of Christmas. Why were the
>>celebrating their Christmas festivities from 24 to 28 December (Xmas
>>to Holy Innocents)? Especially as opposed to a single night (usually
>>eve) or the full twelve days until Epiphany?
>thanks, dana cushing (new member)