Have you ever wondered what the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, was about? It is a bit unique. I wouldn’t know what to do with a partridge in a pear tree. I live in a condo and don’t have a yard. A friend sent information to me about the carol and I thought it was pretty interesting. So, of course, I want to share the story behind the song with you.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics were not permitted to practice their religion openly. Someone during that time wrote this carol as a way for young Catholics to learn their catechism. The carol has 2 meanings: the obvious one about gifts, and the hidden meaning known only to church members. Each gift in the carol was a code word for something in the religion that children could remember.
The partridge in the pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and the New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first 5 books of the Old Testament.
The six geese stood for the six days of creation.
The seven swans represented the seven gifts of the Spirit – prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership, and mercy.
The eight maids were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Spirit – love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The ten Lord’s a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping were the eleven faithful apostles.
The twelve drummers drumming were the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed.
Now you know. You can share this at your Christmas gathering and everyone will realize just how brilliant you are.
Merry Twelve Days of Christmas!!