So another Christmas is over — the presents have been opened, Quality Street devoured and you're surviving on a steady stream of turkey sandwiches.
Soon it will be time to take down the tree and settle into 2015 — but when should you take your Christmas tree down?
Bid farewell to festive decor and take one last look at this year's Christmas Tree gallery:
The traditional date to pack away the baubles is Twelfth Night, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking".
There is some confusion as to whether Twelfth Night is January 5 or January 6. The decision that Twelfth Night falls on the night of January 5, the night before the Twelfth Day of Christmas, stems from the Roman Catholic practice of the day beginning at sunset, rather than midnight.
It is believed to be unlucky to leave your decorations up after Twelfth Night.
Twelfth Night is also the night to indulge in some wassail — a festive punch made throughout Christmas but especially made for Twelfth Night.
Here's a recipe for wassail (courtesy of BBC Good Food):
- Apple cider (or apple juice for a non-alcoholic version)
- 3 Gala apples
- 1 large orange
- Ground ginger
- Vanilla pod or vanilla extract
- Cinnamon sticks
- Take the orange, peel it and stud it with cloves (13 is enough), dice up 3 small apples and sprinkle them with sugar. Roast them at 180c in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Place the apple juice/cider in a saucepan and add the orange peels, vanilla extract, 2 cinnamon sticks, orange peel, nutmeg and ground ginger, then simmer slowly until warm.
- When the apples and orange are roasted, add them to the apple juice/cider and spice mixture and simmer until hot.
- Serve with a cinnamon stick in the glass and some of the roasted apple slices.
- Brandy can also be added into the mix for an extra kick.