The Origin of "The 12 Days of Christmas"


When most people hear of "The 12 days of Christmas" they think of the song. This song had its origins as a teaching tool to instruct young people in the meaning and content of the Christian faith.

Each of the items in the song represents something of Christian significance. The hidden meaning of each Gift was designed to help Christians learn their faith.

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 presents is the Christian.

The "partridge in a pear tree" Is Jesus Christ who died on a tree as a Gift from God.

The "two turtle doves" were the Old and New Testaments - another gift from God.

The "three French hens" were Faith, Hope and Love - the three Gifts of the Spirit that abide (I Corinthians 13).

The "four calling birds" were the four Gospels which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The "five golden rings" were the first five books of the Bible also called the "Books of Moses."

The "six geese a-laying" were the six days of creation.

The "seven swans a swimming" were "seven Gifts of The Holy
Spirit." (I Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter
4:10-11)

The "eight maids a milking" were the eight beatitudes.

The "nine ladies dancing" were nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)

The "ten lords a-leaping" were the Ten Commandments.

The "eleven pipers piping" were the eleven faithful disciples.

The "twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of the
Apostles' Creed.

So the next time you hear "The 12 Days of Christmas" consider how this otherwise non-religious sounding song had its origins in the Christian faith.

Author Unknown