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Miscellaneous | Twelve Days of Christmas Others

Legend has it that the popular Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas

was actually written as a teaching tool for children to remember basic Christian doctrine. According to folklore, the Roman Catholics were not allowed to practice their  faith in public during the sixteenth century. In order not to arouse any suspicion, this song was written as a secret code to remind the children about their faith.

Each gift in the song has a hidden meaning regarding the Christian doctrine. Below is an explanation of what each gift signifies:

A partridge in a pear tree

The partridge is a picture of Christ while the pear tree represents the cross. Partridges are known to give up their lives to protect their young, thus representing Jesus who died on the cross for us.

Two turtledoves

A picture of the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens

In the sixteenth century, only the rich could afford French hens. These costly poultry were used to represent the three precious gifts of faith, hope and love in 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Four calling birds

The four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Five gold rings

The represent the first five books of the Old Testament, collectively called the Torah, which are highly esteemed and considered of more worth than gold.

Six geese a-laying

Since eggs symbolise new life, this is a picture of the six days of God's creation.

Seven swans a-swimming

The sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit according to Romans 12:6-8

Eight maids a-milking

The eight beatitudes of Jesus in Matthew 5:3-10

Nine ladies dancing

The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23 - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Ten lords a-leaping

A picture of the Ten Commandments.

Eleven pipers piping

The 11 disciples of Jesus who were faithful to Him

Twelve drummers drumming

The 12 beliefs stated in the Apostles' Creed.