Ti Festival Guild plans event

TICONDEROGA The 14th annual Twelfth Night celebration of the Ticonderoga Festival Guild will be held Sunday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church on Wicker Street. Choirs from the First United Methodist Church, the Putnam Presbyterian Church, St. Marys Catholic Church and the Hartford Yoked Congregation will participate, along with the Childrens Bell Choir of the Methodist Church. The program is free to the public but donations are welcome at its closing. Refreshments will be served after the program by women from the Methodist Church. Twelfth Night brings to a close the Christmas celebration and it has become a Ticonderoga tradition to conclude the season with area choirs singing their favorite Christmas music. The Twelfth Night tradition dates to the Middle Ages. In early times, Christmas was 12 days of celebration, starting on Dec. 25 and culminating on the 12th night, which was considered Christmas Day. Hence, the song Twelve Days of Christmas and the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. In 529, Roman Emperor Justinian named Christmas to be a civic holiday. Work and public business not associated with the celebration of the holiday was strictly forbidden. In 563, a decree from the Council of Braga declared that fasting on Christmas was prohibited and in 567 the Council of Tours elected the 12 days from Dec. 25 to Epiphany to be sacred. As a result, in the Middle Ages Christmas was not one day to take off work and spend with family, but 12 days of celebration. In older times, the Twelfth Night brought great festivities. In some areas of the world, it is still proper to erect a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and leave it up until a week after New Year for this reason.

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