The carol of The Twelve Days of Christmas has its roots in 18th-century England, as a memory-and-forfeit game sung by British children. In the game, players had to remember all of the previous verses and add a new verse at the end. Those unable to remember a verse paid a forfeit, in the form of a kiss or a piece of candy to the others. One theory, however, connects the carol to the era when Catholicism was outlawed in England, from 1558 and 1829.
Did you know, contrary to popular belief, The Twelve Days of Christmas are not the twelve days before Christmas.
In most of the Western Church, it is the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th). In some traditions, the first day of Christmas begins on the evening of December 25th with the following day considered the First Day of Christmas (December 26th). In these traditions, the twelve days begin December 26 and include Epiphany on January 6.
Each day of The Twelve Days of Christmas has a certain symbolic significance. So, did you know that:-
- A Partridge in a Pear Tree – said to represent Jesus Christ
- Two Turtle Doves – said to represent The Old and New Testaments
- Three French Hens – said to represent The three virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity
- Four Calling/Collie Birds – said to represent Four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
- Five Golden Rings – said to represent First five books of the Old Testament
- Six Geese-a-Laying – said to represent Six days of creation before God’s rest on the seventh day
- Seven Swans-a-Swimming – said to represent Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Eight Maids-a-Milking – said to represent Eight Beatitudes
- Nine Ladies Dancing – said to represent Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
- Ten Lords-a-Leaping – said to represent Ten Commandments
- Eleven Pipers Piping – said to represent Eleven faithful disciples
- Twelve Drummers Drumming – said to represent Twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed
With that, Merry Christmas!
Hope this fella brings you everything you hope for.