What are the 12 days of Christmas?

We all sing about the 12 days of Christmas, but how many of us know what the 12 days of Christmas really are? The 12 days of Christmas, depending on when one starts counting, is the period of time between December 25 (Christmas) and January 5 or December 26 and January 6 (Epiphany).For many today the 12 days of Christmas is known only by the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Though exact reason the song was created is unknown, some say the song was written as a memory game. When someone missed a verse they had to pay some sort of penalty to the others in the game. Others say the song was written in Protestant England when Catholicism was out-of-favor by Catholics as a catechism song to teach their children about the Christian faith. The song’s “gifts” help children remember the teachings of the faith. The symbolism of the song is as follows: True Love” refers to God. “Me” refers to every Christian.


1 Partridge in a Pear Tree = Jesus Christ

2 Turtle Doves = The Old & New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity or the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Trinity

4 Calling Birds = The Four Gospels

5 Golden Rings = First Five Books of the Old Testament

6 Geese-A-Laying = The Six Days of Creation

7 Swans-A-Swimming = The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:8-10)

8 Maids-A-Milking = The Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)

9 Ladies Dancing = The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)

10 Lords-A-Leaping = The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)

11 Pipers Piping = Eleven Apostles, not Judas

12 Drummers Drumming = The Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed.