The Truth about the 12 Days of Christmas
We’ve all heard the song. Have you ever wondered where it came from or even what it means? If you have, well I did some brief research because, maybe like you, I’ve wondered. If you haven’t, well, here’s your chance.
The origin is pretty unknown in general. No one knows where it came from, who wrote it or where. There’s only theories. Who doesn’t love a good theory? Sometimes they make absolute sense!
The twelve days of Christmas are actually the days counting after Christmas or Christmas Eve, whichever belief you have. WHAT. The promotion in Western culture is that it’s the 12 days leading up to Christmas. So now, you have an excuse to leave the tree and decorations up into the new year!
Some also believe that the 12 days of Christmas is actually a tool to teach with in the face of persecution. I thought this was very interesting!
- “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree” – God (true love) and Jesus Christ (the partridge)
- “Two turtle doves” – Old and New Testament
- “Three French hens” – the three gifts of faith, hope and love
- “Calling birds” – four gospels
- “Five golden rings” – Books of Moses
- “Geese a-laying” six days of creation
- “Swans a-swimming” – seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
- “Maids a-milking” – the beatitudes
- “Ladies dancing” – nine fruits of the Holy Spirit such as charity, peace and kindness
- “Lords a-leaping” – 10 Commandments
- “Pipers piping” – 11 apostles
- “Twelves drummers drumming” – points to the Apostles Creed
Others say that the above was not the original form and the origin was secular, not religious.
Partridges and pears, for instance, were considered emblems of fertility during the Renaissance, she said. Likewise, geese and swans were seen as intermediaries between the earth and the sky, and thus humans and heaven.HuffPost, referring to Leigh Grant (author)
Either way, reading about the possibilities was fascinating! I would encourage you to look into this as well. Who knows what it means or where it came from, but it’s been fun thinking about.