Friday, December 19, 2008
12 days of Christmas
Do you know the meaning every line of the songs 12 days of Christmas? Here’s what I read from the book of Christians.
Some Christians assign symbolism to the gifts in the song. One of the most common versions of these assigned meanings is:
* The 'partridge in a pear tree' means there is only one God and is also symbolic of Jesus (see Luke 13:34).
* The 'two turtle doves' are the Old and New Testaments.
* The 'three French hens' are the three Persons of the holy Trinity or the three virtues: faith, hope, and love, though according to Ace Collins' book "Stories of the Best Loved Christmas Songs", they represent the expensive gifts of the Wise Men: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
* The 'four calling birds' are the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; or their Gospels. Which makes sense because they are “calling” out the story?
* 'Five gold rings' are the first five books of the Bible, or the Pentateuch.
* 'Six geese a-laying' refer to the six days of the Creation.
* 'Seven swans a-swimming' are the seven sacraments and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
* 'Eight maids a-milking' are the eight Beatitudes.
* 'Nine ladies dancing' are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
* 'Ten lords a-leaping' are the Ten Commandments.
* 'Eleven pipers piping' are the eleven faithful Apostles.
* 'Twelve drummers drumming' are the twelve doctrines in the Apostles' Creed .
The twelve days of Christmas actually begin, not 12 days before Christmas (which is Advent), but on Christmas day. The twelve days run from December 25th to January 5th which is twelfth night; the last night of the Christmas season. January 6th is the beginning of Epiphany, the time before Easter. Advent is the time looking forward to the birth of Christ while Epiphany is the revelation of Christ to the world. The word "epiphany" means "to show, make known or reveal."