Between the Years - The 12 Holy Nights

There are 12 nights between December 25th (Christmas Day) and January 6th (Epiphany). This time was given special importance even in pre-Christian times. According to tradition, the Celts compensated for the difference between twelve months of the moon’s pases (354 days) and the solar year (365 days) y inserting 11 leap days – and considered these days to be ‘out of time’.

With the first Christmas night the time of the "12 holy" or "rough nights" began. According to ancient traditions, our dreams have a special meaning during this mystical time. People should e.g. dream more clearly than usual. Each dream during these nights is related to one month in the coming year.

So the dream of the first holy night stands for January of the coming year, the dream of the second holy night for February, and so on. This is the old analogy that people used to draw. Knowing no scientific predictions, they did it symbolically this way. Dreams, I mean, are more than unreal castles in the air, utopian fantasies. Dreams help to see how it should be. In doing so, they do not take away from reality any of its horror and misery, but they show us that it can be different and that nothing has to remain as it always was. This is where the transforming power of dreams lies beyond superficial optimism and hollow slogans for perseverance: they contain images of hope that show what is worth working for and committed to.

These days are therefore considered a time to stop the old and start with the new, a time in which fate can e renegotiated and the future can be changed.

And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us,
New, untouched, full of things that have never been,
full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands;
and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much
of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary,
serious, and great things.
Rainer Maria Rilke

I wish you a happy New year.

Go back