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Twelve Days of Christmas


You’ve heard the song or read the poem – ‘On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree and so on’. Can you imagine getting all that stuff? Yes, there have been rebuttal songs and poems written. 🙂

Reality is, the Twelve Days of Christmas are real. They are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (25 December). This period is also known as Christmastide. The Twelfth Day of Christmas is 5 January, with the celebrations of Christmas traditionally ending on Twelfth Night and is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January. Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany. In some traditions the first day of Epiphany and the twelfth day of Christmas overlap.

I do wonder if the true love receives just one partridge in a pear tree or one for each verse? If one for each verse, and applying that to all of the items in all of the verses, that would be a rather large number of items by the time the thing ends!

Anyway, over the centuries, different churches and sects of Christianity have changed the actual traditions, time frame and their interpretations. St. Stephen’s Day (or Boxing Day), for example, is 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Boxing Day, the first weekday after Christmas, is observed as a legal holiday in parts of the Commonwealth of Nations and was traditionally marked by the giving of Christmas boxes to service workers (such as postal workers and trades people) in the United Kingdom. On 28 December is Childermas or the Feast of the Innocents. Currently, the twelve days and nights are celebrated in widely varying ways around the world. For example, some give gifts only on Christmas Night, some only on Twelfth Night and some each of the twelve nights. I guess that might be the origin of the poem/song?

Personally, I think we should just celebrate and be done with it. How about it?

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What do you think?