Skip to content

‘Old Christmas’ observed Jan. 6

Archive photo by Randy Fath (This photo appeared in the Christmas edition of The Dalton Gazette & Kidron News in 2020.)

Emery Weaver, co-owner with his brother, Vernon, of Weaver Wagons, drives a team of horses pulling one of the wagons they manufactured at 5090 S Mt. Eaton Road. Molly Soehnlen, left, and Miki Fath wave from the back. Weaver’s young sons, Caleb and Timothy, sit up front with him on a snowy Saturday morning the week before Christmas in 2020.

DGKN staff report

Along with advertising weekly grocery specials, a sale on winter clothing in the shoe department, and some delicious-looking homemade soups in the restaurant, the popular Kidron Town & Country store posted on its Facebook page this week that it will be closed Thursday for “Old Christmas.”

What is “Old Christmas” and why is it celebrated Jan. 6?

According to a blog post on Best of Ohio’s Amish Country, which is a group of seven area businesses including Lehman’s in Kidron, 12 days after Christmas, or Jan. 6, “was the date that the Three Wise Men came to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus.”

People all over the world celebrate Old Christmas (France, Germany, Austria, and other European countries also take part), the blog post states. In America, it is the Amish who notably celebrate Epiphany.

Centuries ago, Christmas was celebrated Jan. 6, the blog post at states. In 1582, the Julian calendar (which was based on phases of the moon) was replaced with the modern Gregorian calendar. Christmas Day began to be celebrated Dec. 25, except many protestant groups, including the Anabaptists, continued the Jan. 6 tradition.

On Dec. 25, many Amish orders exchange gifts and have baked goods like mainstream culture, but it’s unlikely that one will see a Christmas tree in an Amish home. “For the Amish, Christmas is a celebration about getting together with family, visiting friends, and enjoying food and fellowship,” the post states.

“On Old Christmas, the Amish will fast until noon, and then celebrate with a large meal later in the day. Amish employees do not work on Old Christmas, and many Amish-staffed businesses are closed for the holiday.”

Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on or near Jan. 7 to remember Jesus Christ’s birth, described in the Christian Bible, according to Orthodox Christians in central and eastern Europe and other parts of the world observe the day as a time of reflection, inner thoughts and healing. Many Orthodox Christians fast before Jan. 7, usually excluding meat and dairy products.

Leave a Comment