Friday, January 6, 2017
ELMER TELLS US ABOUT OLD CHRISTMAS
Originally Christmas was on January 6th. At that time the Julian calendar ( based on the phases of the moon) was in effect. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar by Catholic Pope Gregory XIII was put in effect. During the change of calendars, Pope Gregory deleted ten days, eleven minutes and fifteen seconds to realign with the seasons. This moved Christmas from January 6th to December 25th. At that time, many of the protestant churches did not agree with the Pope's change and kept the Julian calendar. Eventually, the world has turned to the Gregorian calendar. Amish brought Old Christmas, to this country, when we came to this country from 18th century Europe.
January 6th is the feast of the Epiphany, the day the wise men brought gifts to Jesus. It is also our Old Christmas. Our Old Christmas is similar to our December 25th Christmas except we fast from when we wake until noon. We do not exchange gifts on this day. Also, we do not open our businesses or exchange money on this day. We only do the chores we have to on this day.
After chores, Anna and I will be spending the morning in Bible reading, prayer and singing. Of course, Anna will also be preparing our meal for noon. At noon, several of our children families will be coming for dinner.
When they arrive, before our meal, I will read a short passage from the Bible and we will have a short silent prayer. After dinner, we will enjoy the afternoon talking, praying and singing. This is a day of rest for us to enjoy being together.
Sometimes we go to our children's for Old Christmas. As, this year, sometimes they come to our home.
Because of the commercialism of December 25th Christmas in the outside world, there has been talk among some Amish groups to make their Christmas January 6th and avoid December 25th. Our Old Order Amish group still celebrate both Christmases.
Trust God's Wisdom,