We all know the song, ” The 12 Days of Christmas”. Love it or hate it, it is a standard of holiday music. What it means seems to be something people don’t agree on, but still we sing it with gusto! The words we all know more or less. They refer to someone receiving livestock and even chattel (people) in an orgy of gift giving and receiving. We have summarized the words here for you to refer to as we take a look at this ageless classic.
“On the first day of Christmas…”
Day 1, partridge in a pear tree, day 2, turtle doves, day 3, French hens, day 4, calling birds, day 5, golden rings, day 6, geese a laying, day 7, swans a swimming, day 8 maids a milking, day 9, ladies dancing, day 10, lords a leaping, day 11, pipers piping, and day 12, drummers drumming”.
When are the 12 days of Christmas, anyway?
The 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days between Christmas Day and Epiphany. Epiphany is January 6, the day of the feast of the three kings. The 12 days represent the 12 days it took the three kings (Magi) to reach Jesus at His birth. According to the website whychristmas.com, each day between Christmas and Epiphany celebrates a different Catholic saint.
Memory game or secret hidden meaning?
The timeframe of the 12 Days of Christmas doesn’t seem to be in dispute. However, the meaning of the gifts in the song are. One idea is that the song was a simple memory game. If the player couldn’t remember all the verses then add another one, they would forfeit a prize, maybe a kiss. Another idea was that the song was written during a time of persecution of the Catholic church. And the “true meanings” of each gift were hidden in the song. Or perhaps, the lyrics were simply a catechism, an easy way to remember the tenets of the Catholic faith.
We leave you to decide what this song really means.
Windermere Real Estate/All Star Realty, LLC