The Christmas season, also called the holiday season (especially in the U.S. and Canada), the festive season, or simply the holidays, is an annually recurring period recognized in many Western and Western-influenced countries that is generally considered to run from late November to early January, defined as incorporating at least Christmas and usually New Year, and sometimes various other holidays and festivals. It incorporates a period of shopping which comprises a peak season for the retail sector (the “Christmas (or holiday) shopping season”), and a period of sales at the end of the season (the “January sales”). Christmas window displays and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies when trees decorated with ornaments and light bulbs are illuminated, are traditions in many areas. Originally, the term “Christmas season” was considered synonymous with Christmastide, a term associated with Yuletide, which runs from December 25 (Christmas Day) to January 6 (Epiphany), popularly known as the 12 Days of Christmas. However, as the economic impact involving the anticipatory lead-up to Christmas Day grew in America and Europe into the 19th and 20th centuries, the term “Christmas season” began to become synonymous instead with the traditional Christian Advent season, the period observed in Western Christianity from the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day until Christmas Day itself. The term “Advent calendar” survives in secular Western parlance as a term referring to a countdown to Christmas Day from the beginning of December. Beginning in the mid-20th century, as the Christian-associated Christmas holiday became increasingly secularized and central to American economics and culture while religio-multicultural sensitivity rose, generic references to the season that omitted the word “Christmas” became more common in the corporate and public sphere of the United States, which has caused a semantics controversy that continues to the present. By the late 20th century, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and the African American cultural holiday of Kwanzaa began to be considered in the U.S. as being part of the “holiday season”, a term that as of 2013 has become equally or more prevalent than “Christmas season” in U.S. sources to refer to the end-of-the-year festive period. “Holiday season” has also spread in varying degrees to Canada and Australasia, however in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the phrase “holiday season” is not widely understood to be synonymous with the Christmas–New Year period, and is often instead associated with summer holidays.