Wednesday, December 21, 2005

12 Days of Christmas...

The History of The 12 Days Of Christmas

From 1558 until 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly for fear of death.   The carol was written as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning and a hidden 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.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and NewTestaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit -prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership and mercy.

Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Awesome!!  Susan, from Country Living Southern Style
, provided me with this fascinating history.  Thank you, Susan!  One of my all-time favorite Christmas carols!!


  1. I have read this in another journal.   It is facinating.     Have a good Christmas and a great New Year.       mark

  2. I didn't know what they meant, thank you for sharing with us...............Jules xxxxx

  3. Hi Val,  I`ve heard this before but thanks for posting it.  It was nice to read it again. :o)

    Sandra xxxxx

  4. I have seen this before wonderful:)


  5. Thanx for sharing this. I didn't know! rich

  6. Merry Christmas!


  7. I've read this before but I forgot it. Thanks for the reminder. : )
    Merry Christmas to you and yours,

  8. What a wonderful history.  Thanks for sharing it. proud of's 10:45 p.m. and I'm already headed to bed...well before 5a.m.  LOL
    Big Hugs

  9. Thanks for posting this Val.


  10. Great post, Val! I learned something new this evening. Merry Christmas.


  11. hello friend sorry i am late here have to check journals mannually now lol anyway I have heard this before but still love it that is cool hugh take care and God bless kelley

  12. Merry Christmas Val


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