Brits who take down Christmas decorations late risk bad luck, says old tradition

It's a horrible feeling taking the Christmas decorations down, and we hate doing it just as much as everyone else.

But all good things must come to an end, and while keeping the spirit alive forever might be tempting, sometimes you just need to let go.

The period shortly after New Year can be a difficult time where it is hard to work out where you stand with your Christmas tree.

Often it can look spritely and full of life making the chuck out difficult. But fear not, because you don't need to get rid before the new year to stay in line with tradition.

According to tradition, there is a specific date when you need to bite the bauble and take your decorations down for another year.

Many even believe that if you don't take them down by this exact date then you are inviting a year of bad luck.

Some go further to say that the only way to reverse the bad luck if you don't get them down in time is to keep them all up until next year.

When should you take your Christmas tree and decorations down?

Tradition states you should take your decorations down on the 12th day of Christmas.

This means people need to take their decorations down on January 5 if they want to avoid any chances of bad luck – although we will leave it up to you to decide if that's a risk you're prepared to take.

This is the 12th day on from Christmas day and is known as Epiphany Eve – the day before Epiphany.

Epiphany celebrates the three kings or wise men who attended the birth of Jesus in his manger in Bethlehem. They bought with them the famous gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

If you fail to take down your decorations by Epiphany then you may need to keep them up all year.

The reason behind the tradition is thought to stem from the presence of tree spirits living inside the greenery we bring into our homes for Christmas like trees and holly.

While the spirits liked to come into homes for the festive period they needed to be set free afterwards in order for greenery to return again in the spring.

By failing to release the spirits greenery and growth would be prevented for the year ahead.

This tradition can vary from country to country, that's if you are superstitious at all.

So feel free to do things your own way, free of judgement. But, if you're looking for a time to start the new year fresh, having things down by the 6th isn't a terrible way to get things done.

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