History and Saying of Twelve Days of Christmas Celebrations

History and Saying of Twelve Days of Christmas Celebrations

The Twelve Days of Christmas is probably the most misunderstood part of the church year among Christians who are not part of liturgical church traditions. The 12 days are calculated from that special day, which is the beginning of Epipathy, i.e. 6th January, so it starts from the evening of 26th December of the previous year.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Has 12 Different Significances

  1. On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree - Symbolizing Jesus himself (partridge) who feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings.
  2. On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Two Turtle Doves - Symbolizing the Old and the New Testaments
  3. On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Three French Hens - Symbolizing the three theoretical virtues of Faith, Hope and Love
  4. On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Four Calling Birds

Symbolizing the Four Gospels

  • Mark,
  • Matthew,
  • John, and Luke,
  • who announced the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ
  1. On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Five Golden Rings - Symbolizing the Five Books of Old Testaments
  2. On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Six Geese a-laying - Symbolizing the six days God took to create and sustain the world
  3. On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Seven Swans a-swimming

Symbolizing the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  • prophecy,
  • ministry,
  • teaching,
  • exhortation,
  • giving,
  • leading,
  • compassion
  1. On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eight Maids a-milking

Symbolizing the Eight Heavenly Happiness

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit,
  • those who lament,
  • the humble,
  • those who hungry and thirsty for justice,
  • the merciful,
  • the pure in heart,
  • the peacemakers,
  • those who are offended for the sake of justice.
  • On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Nine Ladies Dancing

Symbolizing the Nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit

  • love,
  • joy,
  • peace,
  • patience,
  • kindness,
  • generosity,
  • faithfulness,
  • gentleness,
  • self-control.
  1. On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Ten Lords a-leaping

Symbolizing the Ten Commandments

  • You shall have no other Gods but me.
  • You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
  • You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  • You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
  • Respect your father and mother.
  • You must not kill.
  • You must not commit adultery.
  • You must not steal.
  • You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
  • You must not be envious of your neighbour's goods. You shall not be envious anything that belongs to your neighbour
  1. On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eleven Pipers Piping

Symbolizing The Eleven Faithful Apostles

  • Simon Peter,
  • Andrew,
  • James,
  • John,
  • Philip,
  • Bartholomew,
  • Matthew,
  • Thomas,
  • James bar Alphaeus,
  • Simon the Zealot,
  • Judas bar James (This list doesn't include the 12th disciple Judas for betraying Jesus).
  1. On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Twelve Drummers Drumming

Symbolizing the Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostles' Creed

  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
  • He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
  • He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave].
  • On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
  • He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit,
  • The holy Catholic Church,
  • The communion of saints,
  • The forgiveness of sins,
  • The resurrection of the body,
  • life everlasting.

Case Study

Twelve Days of Christmas also signifies the song written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith.Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the Catholic faith. The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith.