Skip to content

Fascinating Facts about The Twelve Days of Christmas

Facts about the 12 Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a well-known Christmas Song. But, did you know that it had subversive meanings during a time when the Christian faith was not accepted and permitted to be practiced? This was during 1558 to 1829 in England. It is actually a coded message embedded in a carol so children could remember. Here are the

Most interesting Facts About the 12 days of Christmas

1 The 8 maids a milking represents the 8 Beatitudes and the 9 ladies dancing signify the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.

2 In the song, as widely accepted now is “4 calling bird” but in the original form, it is “4 colly birds” wherein colly is a no longer used term used to refer to sooty or grimy. This gift refers to the 4 gospels namely, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

3 The two turtle doves reference the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

4 The song has started a long tradition of “Christmas Bird Count” where bird lovers traverse the countryside from California to New England to count birds during Christmas.

5 The six geese a laying represent the 6 days God used to create the world and the 7 swans represent the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Related: Christmas Facts

6 The 5 golden rings signify the first 5 books of the Old Testament where it describes the fall of man to sin.

7 The three French hens stand for love, faith, and hope.

8 The precise origin of this song is not known, but the oldest tracing goes back to 1780 published in the “Mirth without Mischief.”

9 It is said that the partridge in a pear tree symbolizes Jesus Christ.

Read ->   Fascinating September Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

10 The counting of the 12 days of Christmas begins during Christmas day (December 25) and does not actually end on this day.

11 And to complete the rest of the song, the 10 lords a leaping pertain to the 10 Commandments. The 11 pipers piping signify the 11 faithful disciples. Lastly, the 12 drummers drumming represent the 12 articles of the Apostle’s Creed.

While there are other sources that negate these representations, many also believe that it is just a true love song in the context of Christmas. In fact, one source openly published that the cost of giving these gifts in 2012 would amount to US$107,300.

Related: Facts about Christmas Eve

Video: The Hidden History of Christmas