Originating in the 16th century, the Christmas tree is a central part of our modern festive celebrations - but when is the right time to put it up and take it down?
There is plenty of (sometimes heated) debate over when it’s acceptable to start decorating for Christmas, and it can feel like trees go up earlier and earlier every year.
When should I decorate my Christmas tree?
While many people prefer to put their tree up as soon as December rolls around (or sometimes even earlier), traditionally Christmas trees were not brought inside until the 23 or 24 December.
Where you live can sometimes play a part in when you decorate for the festive season. For example, in Argentina, Ireland, Italy and many Latin American countries, the Christmas tree is put up on 8 December in honour of Immaculate Conception day.
When should I take my Christmas tree down?
Historically, Christmas trees were taken down the day after Twelfth Night (which falls on 5 or 6 January) - the night before Epiphany, the day when the nativity story tells us that the wise men visited the infant Jesus.
Roman Catholic families may choose to keep their tree up until 2 February, according to the traditions of Candlemas - a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. According to superstitions, it is a bad omen if Christmas greenery is not removed by Candlemas Eve.
Is it bad luck to leave my Christmas tree up in January?
While the rules have relaxed on when you should decorate your Christmas tree, some still believe that it is bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up after 7 January or 2 February, depending on their religious beliefs.