An end of year ritual - The 12 Holy Nights

lifestyle mindfulness Dec 15, 2022
candle light

This time of year is always a time for reflection and contemplation for me. 

With all the chaos, the Christmas presents, recipes and family get-togethers, I would love to invite you to discover a special ritual that I have found to be helpful:

The Rough Nights, known in German as Die Rauhnächte

I learned about the Rauhnächte a few years ago in 2017, I was captured by the magic and the story, so I made it my annual ritual. This ritual gives me the opportunity to calm down, make space for reflection and to be more intentional during the hectic Christmas season. 

The Rough Nights are also called the 12 Holy Nights and refer to the twelve nights in between the years that hold a very unique, magical and transformative energy. Traditionally the Rough Nights are celebrated from the 24th or 25th of December to the 6th of January. 

The term, Rough Nights is derived from the German term Rauhnächte which is believed to translate from the Middle High German word rûch, meaning wild and hairy. A connection can be drawn here to the appearances of the ghosts and demons that people believed in. It is also believed to be connected to the German word rauh which refers to the smoke of the Rough Night rituals. 

In former times it has been widely believed that the doors to the otherworld and the beyond are wide open within these twelve nights and subtle energies and powers can be much easier perceived. 

Our ancestors believed that ghosts and demons could enter your home and live easier during this time, so to ward off all negativity during these nights, they engaged in various rituals. 

Some examples of rituals which remain today are, smoking the houses with herbs and the carol singers that traditionally move from house to house on the 6th of January.

These nights invite you to go on a journey of consciousness and personal insight that allows you to reflect on the last year as well as to look ahead and set intentions for the upcoming year. 

Every Rough Night is connected to the energy of a month of the following year. 

The personal rituals of The Rough Nights serve the following purposes:

  • Look at what you would like to let go of and leave in the old year and what you would like to invite into the next one. 
  • Create a space for your ideas, intentions and especially for your intuition in order to feel what you really desire. 
  • Revisit experiences and events of the year gone by, by deeply connecting to your inner self, listening to your inner voice and strengthening both through special rituals (find details of these in the download links below).

Rauhnächte calendar to guide you

Two years ago I discovered the Rauhnächte calendar from Martina; This beautiful calendar leads you through these nights and gives you the inspiration to reflect and renew. I have found this to be a great guide and wanted to share it with you.

I am very grateful that Martina has given me permission to share this calendar with you:

German Download

English Download (translated document)


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