Sunny Seasider

Life is so precious
Twelve Days of Christmas
My friend and I were discussing the start of the 12 days of Christmas today and I said that it ended on 6th January (the epiphany). Well seeing as we do not have our very good learned friend Bobthenob, I thought I'd start a thread, for us to reflect upon. I am not trying to teach "Grandma to Suck Eggs", but we all live and learn something every day of this glorious life.

Here it is the tale from a reliable web source.

The Twelve days of Christmas start the day after Christmas Day, and end twelve days later on the 6th January with the Feast of Epiphany. Epiphany being from the Greek word for "manifestation," it being both a celebration of the Christ's Baptism (later reduced by the Church authorities to the solemn blessing of the Baptismal water) and of the revelation to the Three Wise Men, or Kings, or Magi. Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night" makes the old reckoning of dates clear and also of the belief that the Christmas decorations should come down, and the tree removed from the house, 12 days after Christmas Day. Many Roman Catholic and high Anglican Churches in the UK would not sing Christmas Carols before Christmas Day. Even the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols Service was not held before the Sunday after Christmas Day. "The Holly and the Ivy" was called a Carol but was a lesson for us on how the ancient heathen religions of our country were replaced by Christian worship. So, the 26th of December marks the first of the 12 days of Christmas.

Thus, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" starts off with "On the first day of Christmas . . ." because it was thought wrong when it was written for Christians to sing Carols outside of Church before Boxing Day. So, being a very proper young lass, the subject of the Carol would open the first gift that her true love had sent on Boxing Day. That "true love" represented God who had sent Jesus to be born the day before, and all the gifts sent on the subsequent days of Christmas were gifts disguised in the words of the song that came to all believers from God through his son Jesus Christ.

The song's gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptised person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ and the two turtle doves are the old and new Testaments.

The other verses represent the following:

3 French Hens are Faith, Hope and Charity,

4 Calling Bird are The Four Gospels,

5 Golden Rings are the first five books of the Old Testament,

6 Geese A-Laying are the six days of creation,

7 Swans A-Swimming are the seven gifts of The Holy Spirit,

8 Maids A-Milking are the eight beatitudes,

9 Ladies Dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit,

10 Lords A-Leaping are the Ten Commandments,

11 Pipers Piping are the eleven faithful apostles,

12 Drummers Drumming are the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.

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