You have celebrated Christmas and New Year and are now wondering when to take down your tree and decorations...

Some people take down their trees on Boxing Day while others do so on January 1 as a way of bringing in the New Year.

For those who believe in the Christian tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas, the tree should not be taken down until Twelfth Night so as not to bring bad luck upon the home.

But when is Twelfth Night?

Twelfth Night

Different traditions state Twelfth Night falls on either January 5 or 6 as counting can begin on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

But it has become more common for the Twelve Days of Christmas to begin on December 25, meaning the decs should come down on Friday, January 5.

It’s a Christian tradition that has been observed since the Middle Ages – but Twelfth Night wasn't always the date superstitious folk took down their decorations.

According to Dr Michael Carter, the senior properties historian at English Heritage, Christmas celebrations would have continued until Candemas on February 2.

He also said the bad luck belief may have come from medieval beliefs that decorations left up “would become possessed by goblins!”

After the tree is down

The first option is to plant the tree (if real) so it can be used again next Christmas.

Second option is to recycle your (real) tree by taking it to a Christmas tree drop-off point, of which there are several.

Sites in Waverley borough can be found at:

  • Woolmer Hill sports ground, Haslemere
  • High Lane recreation ground, Haslemere
  • Village Way Car Park, Cranleigh (by basketball hoop)
  • Haslemere recreation ground
  • Holloway Hill recreation ground, Godalming
  • Nursery Road Car Park, Broadwater Park, Godalming
  • Wrecclesham recreation ground
  • Rowledge recreation ground
  • Weybourne recreation ground
  • Farnham Park

Trees can only be dropped off at these sites until Friday, January 19.

Some councils including East Hampshire and Woking allow you to put your tree in with normal garden waste (cut up if over 6ft tall) and have it collected before the end of January but you should check to see if this is offered in your area.

Alternatively, ring local parks and wildlife centres to see if they need any trees for the flora and fauna, or take to your local community recycling centre.

Fake trees should be disposed of properly at a community recycling centre and not thrown out in general rubbish.

When the hard work is over why not join in on a Wassail happening near you.


Wassail is a Twelfth Night tradition which involves visiting an orchard and wishing for a good harvest for the year.

According to Chawton House it involves marching, singing and making lots of noise with different objects to keep away bad spirits whilst “pleasing the spirits of the fruit trees”.

There are wassail events at:

By Michelle Monaghan