The Real Meaning of the Twelve Days of Christmas


12 days tree

The Twelve Days of Christmas 

I am sure that we are all familiar with the Holiday song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. I remember being a gangling elementary school student and having to act out the song, as we sang it in Mrs. Strasbaugh’s music class. Ah, Sweet memories. And, I’m sure that if you haven’t heard the original version, then you have most undoubtedly heard the John Denver and Muppet’s version. It is a classic. Bah-dum-bum-bum.

As I was searching online for a profound blog idea for the fast approaching Christmas season, I came across the real meaning of the 12 days of Christmas song. and I thought that I would share it. If you’ve never heard of the meaning behind the song, it is a pretty amazing story.

In the Twelve Days of Christmas, “My True Love” represents God, who gives all of the gifts in the song.

On the first day, is a partridge in a pear tree: The partridge is Jesus, who gave His life on a tree (the cross).

On the second day, is the two turtle doves: The two turtle doves symbolize the Old Testament and the New Testament.

On the third day, three french hens, which symbolizes faith, hope and love.

On the fourth day, four calling hens, four gospels- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

On the fifth day,  five golden rings, the first five books of the Bible, also known as Pentateuch.

On the sixth day, six geese a-laying, symbolizes the six days of creation.

On the seventh day, seven swans a-swimming, symbolizes seven gifts of the spirit (which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety & fear of the Lord.)

On the eighth day, eight maids a-milking, symbolize the eight Beatitudes,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10


On the ninth day, nine ladies dancing stands for nine fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”)

On the tenth day, ten lords a-leaping, stands for the ten commandments

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

On the eleventh day, eleven pipers piping, symblizes the eleven faithful disciples.

On the twelfth day, it was twelve drummers drumming, which are as follows:

1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s