• Daurice Cummings-Bealer

Legend of the 12 Days of Christmas

Updated: Mar 9

Did you know that the song the 12 Days of Christmas has a special meaning?

The 12th day after Christmas (January 6th) was chosen as the day to honor the visit of the wise men to Jesus. It is called the Epiphany. In ancient times the 12 days between Christmas and the Epiphany were full of festivals. On the 12th night there was a large party. There is a legend that the song was written during the 16th century when the Church of England forbade all religious teachings not in alignment with their own. The song is used to disguise the true meanings behind the symbols so the people could teach their children in secret. Each of the items in the song symbolizes something of significance. While the truth of this legend has not been proven it is an interesting and delightful interpretation!

The “TRUE LOVE” in the song represents God who is the giver of all gifts.

The “PARTRIDGE in a pear tree” symbolizes the greatest gift of all-Christ dying on a cross, made from a tree.

The “two TURTLE DOVES” were the Old and New Testaments. They could also represent the doves Mary and Joseph gave to the Temple when Jesus was born.

The “three FRENCH HENS” are faith, hope and love-the three gifts of the SPIRIT that abide. They also could represent the three gifts from the wise men.

The “four CALLING BIRDS” are a symbol of the four Gospels which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The “five GOLDEN RINGS” represent the first five books of the Old Testament also called the “Books of Moses.”

The “six GEESE A-LAYING” symbolize the six days of creation portrayed in Genesis.

The “seven SWANS A SWIMMING” were the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Like a swan you grow more beautiful as you grow in them.

The “eight MAID A MILKING” are the eight beatitudes. Just as milk helps you grow strong, the Beatitudes strengthen your spirit.

The “nine LADIES DANCING” are nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. They bring you joy and make you want to dance!

The “ten LORDS A LEAPING” represent the Ten Commandments. Lords were men to be honored and obeyed just as the commandments should be.

The “eleven PIPERS PIPING” symbolize the eleven faithful disciples. When a piper played music, people followed him around just as Jesus is meant to be followed.

The “twelve DRUMMERS DRUMMING” are the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed.

I hope you enjoyed this legend and when you sing the Twelve Days of Christmas you understand a whole new meaning to the song.

Everyone at YOUR OWN PRODUCTION, INC. wishes you a very safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


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