We Just Found Out The '12 Days Of Christmas' Take Place After Christmas

You do recall the song "The 12 Days of Christmas," right? But did you knowt hat it actually talks about the period after Christmas?

Well, I certainly didn't know that, and I bet there are many people out there like me. So to put it all in perspective, I'm going to give you a little history lesson here. Are you ready? Let's go.

Here it goes.

Unsplash | Birmingham Museums Trust

The 12 days of Christmas, otherwise known as Twelvetide, is a Christian religious observance that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

It begins on Christmas Day, which is December 25th and continues until January 6th, known as Three Kings’ Day or Epiphany.

Why 12 days of Christmas?

Unsplash | Inbal Malca

Well, it's because Christians believe that the 12 days of Christmas signify the amount of time that it took the wise men to travel to Bethlehem for the Epiphany after Jesus was born. Oh, I get it now.

The Epiphany is an ancient Christian feast day.

Unsplash | Alessandro Bellone

In the East, where it originated, the Epiphany celebrates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. It also celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.

So how does the song come into play in all of this?

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Well, it is believed that Christians used it to discreetly pass on the message of Christianity. This was during the times when they were being punished for their religion.

Let's decode the secret messages hidden in the song then. Shall we?

Unsplash | Aaron Burden

It starts with the partridge in the pear tree representing Jesus and continuing with the two turtle doves signifying the Old and New Testament. The three French hens are Faith, Hope, and Charity.

The four calling birds represent the four gospels.

Unsplash | Šárka Krňávková

Apparently, the five golden rings are the first five books of the Old Testament. Then, the six geese represent the six days of creation. The seven swans are the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

But there's more, of course.

Unsplash | Ben White

The eight maids are the eight blessings given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. The nine ladies dancing are the nine different fruits of the Holy Spirit. And the ten lords are the Ten Commandments.

Finally, the eleven pipers represent the eleven faithful apostles.

Unsplash | Michael Payne

And the twelve drummers drumming are the twelve points of the doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed. Are you still with me? Wow, how interesting is that, huh? I never actually knew that.

Who knew this was such an important song?

I didn't really realize that. It's super neat to find out the true meaning of things we know about but don't quite understand. Am I right? Do you celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas? I'd love to know what the traditions are in your house.

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