Technically, it’s still Christmas for a few more days

If you really don’t want the joy to end, you might have an excuse to keep going, according to some theologians who say Christmas should last 12 days and only start on December 25th.

Theoretically, those who celebrated the holiday for its religious significance should celebrate it until January 5, also known as Twelfth Night according to

Some denominations of the Christian faith celebrate the 12 days by observing the feast days of various saints.

Others give gifts during this period, which is the origin of the song the 12 days of Christmas.

More interestingly, in ancient times, people did not work during this period.

READ ALSO: Ramaphosa declares December 27 a public holiday

It is not possible to extend the holiday season

But an extended public holiday period seems unworkable in modern times.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa declares on December 27 a holiday has little impact on the economy, according to economist Dawie Roodt, on average a holiday on a normal day could cost the region’s economy about 20,000 or R30 billion in lost production.

With this in mind, if the country has to include the extra days of Christmas in the festive calendar, the final tally of this bill will mean an additional loss of R180 to R600 billion to the economy.

NOW READ: Countries with the most public holidays

Roodt also believes that SA currently has too many public holidays. Read more about it here.

But without realizing it, many businesses do accommodate the 12 days, with a number of businesses closing their doors around December 16 and seeing a return to work around January 6 or the Monday after New Year’s Eve.

When exactly is back to work?

The Consolidated Employers’ Organization encourages companies to communicate these days in advance to employees, well before the start of the annual break, to avoid protracted Christmas celebration problems.

“A common problem that employers have had to deal with is when their employees do not show up for work on the specified return date.

“This represents a breach of the worker’s duty to remain in the service according to the employment contract. If an employee is unable to return to work after a period of annual leave, the employee may be reasonably required to inform the employer of his whereabouts and the reason for his absence from work.

“This requirement is often not met, and the employer is obliged to investigate the employee’s absence from work and the reason for the absence,” the organization advised on its site.

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