12 Days of Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
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”

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” refer to the eight days of the Christmas Octave from December 25 to New Years Day, and the four additional days up to and including the eve of January 6, the traditional date of the Epiphany.  It contains hidden meanings intended to help children remember lessons of faith.  Instead of referring to an earthly suitor, the “true love” mentioned in the song really refers to God.  The “me” who receives the presents is symbolic of every baptized person.

Partridge in a pear tree        Jesus Christ, symbolized as a mother
partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from helpless
nestlings.

Two turtle doves                     Old & New Testaments

Three French Hens                 Faith, hope, charity

Four Calling birds                    The Four Gospels

Five Golden Rings                  The Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses   (Genesis through Deuteronomy)

Six geese a laying                   Six days of creation

Seven Swans a swimming     7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Eight maids a-milking             8 Beatitudes

Nine Ladies Dancing               Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Ten Lords a-leaping
                10 Commandments

Eleven pipers piping                The 11 faithful disciples

12 drummers drumming         12 articles of the Apostles Creed

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