|Saint Knut's Day|
|Also called||tjugondag jul, tjugondag Knut, knutmasso|
|Observed by||Sweden, Finland, Estonia|
Saint Knut's Day : tjugondag jul, lit.'twentieth-day Yule'; tjugondag Knut, lit.'twentieth-day Knut'; or knutmasso; Finnish : nuutinpäivä, lit.'Knut's Day'), or the Feast of Saint Knut, is a traditional festival celebrated in Sweden and Finland on 13 January. It is not celebrated on this date in Denmark (the Knut day was moved in Sweden, not in Denmark) despite being named for the Danish prince Canute Lavard, and later also associated with his uncle, Canute the Saint, the patron saint of Denmark. Christmas trees are taken down on tjugondag jul, and the candies and cookies that decorated the tree are eaten. In Sweden, the feast held during this event is called a Knut's party (julgransplundring, literally "Christmas tree plundering").(Swedish
Canute Lavard (Knut Levard in Swedish) was a Danish duke who was assassinated by his cousin and rival Magnus Nilsson on 7 January 1131 so he could usurp the Danish throne. In the aftermath of his death there was a civil war, which led to Knut being later declared a saint, and 7 January became Knut's Day, a name day.
As his name day roughly coincided with Epiphany (the "thirteenth day of Christmas"), Knut's Day and Epiphany were conflated to some degree. In 1680, Knut's Day was moved to 13 January and became known as tjugondag Knut or tjugondedag jul (the "twentieth day of Knut/Christmas").
On nuutinpäivä, a tradition has been observed which is somewhat analogous to the modern Santa Claus, where young men dressed as goats (Finnish: nuuttipukki) would visit houses. Usually the dress was an inverted fur jacket, a leather or birch bark mask, and horns. Unlike Santa Claus, nuuttipukki was a scary character (cf. Krampus). The men dressed as Nuuttipukki wandered from house to house, came in, and typically demanded food from the household and especially leftover alcoholic beverages. Unless Nuuttipukki received a salary from the host, he committed evil deeds.A dialectical proverb from Noormarkku says: Hyvä Tuomas joulun tua, paha Knuuti poijes viä or "Good [St.] Thomas brings Christmas, evil Knut takes [it] away."
In Finland the Nuuttipukki tradition is still kept alive in areas of Satakunta, Southwest Finland and Ostrobothnia. However, nowadays the character is usually played by children and now involves a happy encounter.
In Sweden St. Knut's Day marks the end of the Christmas and holiday season. It is celebrated by taking out the Christmas tree and dancing around it. Nowadays, the feast is mainly for children.
Saint Stephen's Day, also called the Feast of Saint Stephen, is a Christian saint's day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr, celebrated on 26 December in Western Christianity and 27 December in Eastern Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox Churches that adhere to the Julian calendar mark Saint Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts. In Latin Christian denominations, Saint Stephen's Day marks the second day of Christmastide.
Midsummer is the period of time in the middle of the summer. The exact dates vary among different cultures. The celebration predates Christianity, and existed under different names and traditions around the world.
Canute IV, later known as Canute the Holy or Saint Canute, was King of Denmark from 1080 until 1086. Canute was an ambitious king who sought to strengthen the Danish monarchy, devotedly supported the Roman Catholic Church, and had designs on the English throne. Slain by rebels in 1086, he was the first Danish king to be canonized. He was recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as patron saint of Denmark in 1101.
The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a festive Christian season celebrating the Nativity of Jesus. In some Western ecclesiastical traditions, "Christmas Day" is considered the "First Day of Christmas" and the Twelve Days are 25 December to 5 January, inclusive, with 6 January being a "thirteenth day" in some traditions and languages. However, 6 January is most often considered Twelfth Day/Twelfth Night with the Twelve Days "of" Christmas actually after Christmas Day from 26 December to 6 January. For many Christian denominations—for example, the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Church—the Twelve Days are identical to Christmastide, but for others, e.g., the Roman Catholic Church, Christmastide lasts longer than the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Knut, Knud (Danish), or Knútur (Icelandic) is a Scandinavian, German, and Dutch first name, of which the anglicised form is Cnut or Canute. In Germany both "Knut" and "Knud" are used. In Spanish and Portuguese Canuto is used which comes from the Latin version Canutus, and in Finland, the name Nuutti is based on the name Knut. The name is derived from the Old Norse Knútr meaning "knot".
Saint John's Eve, starting at sunset on 23 June, is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke states that John was born six months before Jesus; therefore, the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on 24 June, six months before Christmas according to the old Roman calculation. This feast day is one of the very few saints' days which commemorates the anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of the saint being honored.
Christmastide is a season of the liturgical year in most Christian churches. In some Christian denominations, Christmastide is identical to Twelvetide, a similar concept.
Epiphany, also known as Theophany in the east, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation (theophany) of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.
Saint Lucy's Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christian feast day observed on 13 December. The observance commemorates Lucia of Syracuse, an early-4th-century virgin martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle lit wreath on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Her feast day, which coincided with the shortest day of the year prior to calendar reforms, is widely celebrated as a festival of light. Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy's Day is viewed as a precursor of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar on Christmas Day.
The observance of Christmas around the world varies by country. The day of Christmas, and in some cases the day before and the day after, are recognized by many national governments and cultures worldwide, including in areas where Christianity is a minority religion. In some non-Christian areas, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration ; in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to observe the holiday.
Canute Lavard was a Danish prince. Later he was the first Duke of Schleswig and the first border prince who was both a Danish and a German vassal, a position leading towards the historical double position of Southern Jutland. He was killed by his cousin Magnus, who saw him as a rival to the Danish throne. Canute Lavard was canonized in 1170.
Jul or jol is the term used for the Christmas holiday season in Scandinavia and parts of Scotland. Originally, "jul" was the name of a month in the old Germanic calendar. The concept of "jul" as a period of time rather than a specific event prevailed in Scandinavia; in modern times, "Jul" is a period of time stretching from the days before December 24 to mid-January, with Christmas and the week up to New Year as its highlight. The modern English yule and yuletide are cognates with this term.
The Yule goat is a Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origin may be Germanic pagan and has existed in many variants during Scandinavian history. Modern representations of the Yule goat are typically made of straw.
Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Feast of the Holy Encounter, is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40. In accordance with Leviticus 12: a woman was to be purified by presenting a lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove as sin offering, 33 days after a boy's circumcision. It falls on February 2, which is traditionally the 40th day of and the conclusion of the Christmas–Epiphany season. While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night, those in other Christian countries historically remove them after Candlemas. On Candlemas, many Christians also bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year; for Christians, these blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who referred to Himself as the Light of the World.
The Christmas season, also called the holiday season, or the festive season, is an annually recurring period recognized in many Western and other countries that is generally considered to run from November to early January.
Jul, the Danish Jule and Christmas, is celebrated throughout December starting either at the beginning of Advent or on December 1 with a variety of traditions. Christmas Eve, Juleaften, the main event of Jul, is celebrated on the evening of December 24, the evening before the two Christmas holidays, December 25 and 26th. Celebrating on the eve before Christmas is also used for most other holidays in Denmark.
Christmas in Iceland (Jól) starts four Weeks before proper Christmas, which begins on December 24 (Aðfangadagur) and ends thirteen days later on January 6 (Epiphany).
Christmas is celebrated throughout December and traditionally until St. Knut's Day on January 13. The main celebration and the exchange of gifts in many families takes place on Christmas Eve, December 24. The Lucia Day is celebrated during Advent, on December 13.
A Knut's party or Knut's dance is a tradition in Sweden on St. Knut's Day, which marks the end of the Christmas and holiday season, which includes Advent Sunday, Saint Lucy's Day, Christmas, New Year and Epiphany. It is also known as "Dancing out Christmas" or "Throw out the Tree".
Christmas in Finland begins, as is commonplace on public holidays in Finland, on Christmas Eve. Especially the evening of Christmas Eve has become the most important day of the Christmas period, and is nowadays a paid holiday in most workplaces. Unlike on other public holidays, public transportation stops almost completely on the afternoon of Christmas Eve in Finland. The Christmas period ends on Epiphany.