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The 12 Days of Christmas

During the holiday season “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” is heard everywhere in the shopping malls, television, church function everywhere you go,

Posted By- Khyati Rathod | Posted On - Oct 21, 2020

During the holiday season “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” is heard everywhere in the shopping malls, television, church function everywhere you go, you can hear about two turtle doves, seven swans swimming and eleven pipers piping. But what does this mean? What does a song about doves, hens, and geese have to do with Christmas?

The carols have their roots in 18th century England as memory and this song is 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 and the piece of the candy.


There are really 12 days of Christmas

There was absolutely no reason why any Catholic would have to hide his knowledge of any of the concepts supposedly symbolized in ‘The 12 Days of Christmas,’ because these are the basic articles of faith common to all denominations of Christianity.” These are not directly linked to any celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, which actually begins on December 25 and ends on the Twelfth Day, January 5, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany.


Here are the verses of the song with their supposed symbolism 



  • A Partridge in a pear tree - Jesus Christ
  • Two Turtle Doves - The Old and New Testaments
  • Three French Hens - The three virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity
  • Four Calling/Collie Birds - Four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  • Five Golden Rings - First five books of the Old Testament
  • Six Geese-a-Laying - Six days of creation before God's rest on the seventh day
  • Seven Swans-a-Swimming - Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Eight Maids-a-Milking - Eight Beatitudes
  • Nine Ladies Dancing - Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • Ten Lords-a-Leaping - Ten Commandments
  • Eleven Pipers Piping - Eleven faithful disciples
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming -Twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed



Meaning of the twelve days of the Christmas

Christmas Day is the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas. This period is viewed by Christians as the amount of time it took the three magi, or wise men, to travel to Bethlehem for the Epiphany, the revelation of Jesus Christ as the savior and the son of God. Some of the churches believe that it is the day of Christ's baptism, while others celebrate it as the day the three magi visited Jesus with many  gifts for children.

But there is also one difference in when the twelve days are celebrated. Western churches, for example, celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, the Epiphany on Jan. 6, and the period in-between as the 12 days and nights of Christmas. Other cultures have different customs.

Mostly in the Eastern Orthodox Church now adhere to the Western calendar, Greek Orthodox Church still celebrating Christmas on Jan. 7, and the Epiphany on Jan. 19. Some of the Latin-American cultures celebrate the Epiphany as Three Kings Day giving gifts on Jan. 6 instead of Christmas. 

The Twelfth Night is celebrated on the night of Jan. 5, is considered as the end of the Christmas season before the Epiphany the following day. ­The Twelfth Night was a time for feasting in England in centuries past. Some cultures. Just because the song is associated with the holiday season, that doesn't mean you can't sing it the rest of the year. For more information about all things Christmas, visit the next page.


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