from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A Christian festival marking the coming of Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas, traditionally falling on the evening of January 5 (i.e., on the eve of Twelfth Day, January 6), but also sometimes defined as falling on the evening of January 6 (i.e., on the evening of Twelfth Day itself).
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Technically, Carnival had commenced January 6, with the ball of the Twelfth Night Revelers, and had been underway throughout the downcast days of February, but so far Carnival had been a matter of club parties and society balls, closed to the public and made all the more private, all the more small, by the unusually low temperatures.
And the forecited notice ascertains that Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was performed before the members of the Middle Temple on the old Church festival of the Purification, formerly called Candlemas; ” an important link in the course of festivities that used to continue from Christmas to Shrovetide.