The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a festive Christian season celebrating the Nativity of Jesus. In most Western ecclesiastical traditions, “Christmas Day” is considered the “First Day of Christmas” and the Twelve Days are 25 December – 5 January, inclusive. The Twelve Days of Christmas” is also a famous English Christmas carol that enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. The song, published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin. The tunes of collected versions vary. The standard tune now associated with it is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin, who introduced the familiar prolongation of the verse “five gold rings”.
However, the matter of greater interest to me was the historical significance of each of the gifts, which has been very nicely explained by a fellow blogger, ” Coach Mueller” in one of his recent blogs. Taking the liberty of liberally borrowing from his aforesaid blog, the significance of these gifts are:
Day 1: “The partridge in a pear tree” is Jesus Christ
Day 2: “Two turtle doves” are the Old and New Testaments
Day 3: “Three French Hens” stand for Faith, Hope, and Charity
Day 4: “Four Calling Birds” are the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark Luke, and John
Day 5: “Five Golden Rings” recall the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old testament.
Day 6: “Six Geese A-Laying” stand for the six days of creation
Day 7: “Seven Swans Are Swimming” represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy
Day 8: “Eight Maids A-Milking” are the eight Beatitudes (blessings listed by Jesus in the sermon on the mount)
Day 9: “Nine Ladies Dancing” are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control
Day 10: “Ten Lords Are Leaping” are the Ten Commandments
Day 11: “Eleven Pipers Piping” stand for the eleven faithful disciples
Day 12: “Twelve Drummers Drumming” symbolizes the twelve points in the Apostle’s Creed.
There’s festivity in the year as we approach Christmas and also prepare to bid adieu to 2019 to enter into a new decade. Hopefully, this festivity overwhelms the current state of disturbed atmosphere in the country.
Merry Christmas and season’s greetings to all my friends and readers.