When most people hear "The 12 Days of Christmas" they think of
song. This song had its origins as a teaching tool to instruct
people in the meaning and content of the Christian faith.
From 1558 to 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not able to
their faith openly so they had to find other ways to pass on
beliefs. The song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is one
example of how
they did it.
The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love
gave to me..."
The "true love" represents God and the "me" who receives these
is the Christian.
The "partridge in a pear tree" was Jesus
on a tree as a gift from God.
The "two turtle doves" were the Old and New Testaments -
The "three French hens" were faith, hope and love-the three
gifts of the
Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).
The "four calling birds" were the four Gospels which sing the
salvation through Jesus Christ.
The "five golden rings" were the first five books of the Bible
called the "Book of Moses."
The "six geese a-laying" were the six days of creation.
The "seven swans a swimming" were "seven gifts of the Holy
(1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
The "eight maids a milking" were the eight beatitudes.
The "nine ladies dancing" were nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
The "ten lords a-leaping" were the Ten Commandments.
The "eleven pipers piping" were the eleven faithful
The "twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of the
So the next time you hear "The 12 Days of Christmas" consider
otherwise non-religious sounding song had its origins in the