Although the calendar says December 26 and the Christmas carols are no longer playing on the radio and in stores, it is still Christmas! Christmas begins on Christmas Day and continues for 12 more days until the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6, when the Magi visit the Christ Child and bring Him gifts.
So did you know that the famous Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, celebrates the beginning of the Christmas season, Christmas Day, in the liturgical calendar and ends on the Feast of the Epiphany? Many mistakenly believe that the 12 days refers to the 12 days prior to the celebration of Christmas Day.
On our Christmas tree we have this beautiful ornament of a partridge in a pear tree that was given to my husband and me by an aunt who has since passed away. We treasure this gift from our loved one and it wasn’t until I started researching about the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” that I realized that there is some controversy surrounding what the partridge in the pear tree symbolized, as well as the other items mentioned in the song.
Several years ago, I read that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has religious symbolism and according to Father Edward Dowling in the article, “The Real Meaning of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written to educate the faithful in the doctrines of the faith and yet not be obvious to the persecutors. The numbers are simply a mnemonic to help Catholics remember some basic facts. Recall the words of the song. “On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 12 lords a leaping, 11 pipers piping, 10 ladies dancing, nine drummers drumming, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.”
After reading many articles about the real meaning of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song I’m not sure if the song has religious symbolism or not since it appears there is no sound proof for it to be true or false.
What do you think?
Have you heard about the religious symbolism in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”? Were you aware of the differences of opinions in whether or not the song was created as a type of catechism during a time of persecution? I think this is a fascinating topic and would love to hear what others think about it.
There are many parodies that have come from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song and I would like to conclude this post with 2 variations that you may have never heard, but I found them to be fun and entertaining.
The first video is titled “The Twelve Days of Homeschooling” which I found funny as a homeschool mom myself to my four children.
This second video is the group Straight No Chaser singing a creative and entertaining version called “12 Days of Christmas Medley”.
On this first week of Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas!