The Twelve Days of Christmas

I found an article on the web today about the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas that I thought people may find interesting so I thought I would share it with you.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.  If you remember the song begins with:

On the First day of Christmas, my TRUE love gave to me…”

A partridge in a pear tree… where Jesus Christ represents the partridge and the cross symbolizes the pear tree.

On the Second day… Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.

On the Third day… Three french hens stood for faith, hope and love.

On the Fourth day… The four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

On the Fifth day…. The five golden rings recalls the Torah or Law, which are the first five books of the Old Testament.

On the Sixth day… The six geese a-laying stands for the six days of creation.

On the Seventh day… Seven swans a-swimming represents the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,  Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

On the Eighth day… The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

On the Ninth day… Nine ladies dancing represents the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,  Faith, Gentleness, and Self Control.

On the Tenth day… The ten lords a-leaping are the ten commandments.

On the Eleventh day…The eleven pipers piping stands for the eleven faithful disciples.

And lastly on the Twelfth day… The twelve drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.


I have not had time to research this but should this be true then we now know the true meaning of the Twelve day of Christmas…. I hope you all have a very happy (Twelve Days of) Christmas… Take care everyone.


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  1. #1 by camping gear on December 29, 2010 - 19:03

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  2. #2 by Denise on December 26, 2010 - 18:06

    Very interesting post! Looking forward to the next posts!

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