Today is a day long anticipated by those who countdown to Christmas: it’s Leon Day.
Leon Day marks the exact half way mark to Christmas. It’s all down hill from here.
Why is it called Leon Day? Leon is Noel spelled backwards.
The history of Leon Day is a bit murky. While counting down to Christmas is a tradition hundreds of years old tied to old world Catholic church teachings Leon Day is a decidedly modern addition to the Christmas countdown calendar.
It’s beginnings are likely tied to commerce. Christmas-in-July officially begins right after the 4th of July holiday but Leon Day as the half-way mark to Christmas is kind of a marker on the calendar that allows retailers to begin showcasing Christmas products.
For crafters this is the week when the very first of new fabrics and crafting materials hit the shelves for Christmas projects. Catalogs begin to get mailed with Christmas themes from manufacturers such as Hallmark. Television and radio stations sometimes release Christmas schedules for July forward on Leon Day.
The popularity of Leon Day has exploded with the advent of the Internet and the use of social media. Though not known for traditions of the day itself it is now common on social media for Christmas lovers to wish each other a Happy Leon Day.
Leon Day has gained in popularity especially in places south of the equator where it is now the dead of winter. Christmas for people in Australia and New Zealand always features hot weather and beach celebrations. Leon Day allows them to celebrate Christmas with traditional snowmen, sleighs and frosty decorations so commonly associated with Christmas imagery.
Leon Day is fine and fun summer tradition for those with small children who sometimes mark the day by doing backwards things — reading backwards, writing backwards, singing Christmas carols backwards or even wearing Christmas themed clothes backwards. Some even go so far as to put up Christmas trees or to have Christmas themed water fights to beat the heat and mark the day as halfway to Christmas.