Those of you who’re painting the town, country and world red by vacationing around the globe… I envy you.
Those of you who’re stuck here like me, voluntarily or involuntarily… Get a life!!
LOL. Just kidding.
Christmas, to me, means holidays and Santa Claus. Of course, I enjoy looking at the decorations that people put up, and I relish the snacks and sweets that signal a festival. But, I never really dug deep into the culture and traditions.
Here’s some trivia for you and me! Hope you enjoy reading it!
I was wondering what "The Twelve Days of Christmas" meant. I kinda knew it was a song, a Christmas carol, in fact, but I did not know what it stood for. While the English carol enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas, the actual 12 days of Christmas is the period between Dec 25 and Jan 5, and this period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. These twelve days and nights are celebrated in widely varying ways around the world. For example, some give gifts only on Christmas Day, some only on Twelfth Night, and some each of the twelve nights.
Did not manage to find more about these 12 days, actually didn’t research it further coz the carol caught my attention and fancy…
So, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is a cumulative song - each verse is built on top of the previous verses. (You know, like the songs we sang in school – sort of a memory game where you gotta keep adding one thing to the list and continue singing… Used to be fun!)
There are twelve verses, each describing a gift given by "my true love" on one of the twelve days of Christmas. How exciting! One, having a true love, and two, getting gifts from that individual. Wow, some people have all the luck in the world ;-)
So, what precisely are these gifts you ask?
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (=that stands for Jesus)
*Note – Some websites say my true love “sent” to me. Pls do verify before singing!
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (=signifies the Old and New Testaments)
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree (=the three theological virtues faith, hope and love)
This continues right uptil the 12th verse… and it goes like this…
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
Twelve drummers drumming, (=the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed)
Eleven pipers piping, (=the eleven faithful Apostles)
Ten lords a-leaping, (=the Ten Commandments)
Nine ladies dancing, (=the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit)
Eight maids a-milking, (=the eight Beatitudes)
Seven swans a-swimming, (=the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments)
Six geese a-laying, (=the six days of Creation)
Five golden rings, (=the Torah or Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament that give the history of man’s fall from grace)
Four calling birds, (=the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists)
Three French hens, (=Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues)
Two turtle doves, (=the Old and New Testaments)
And a partridge in a pear tree! (=God/Jesus)
Speaking of which, do you know the ten commandments? Goes without saying that they would be a lot different had I written them. The above gifts as well, for that matter. But lets keep that for another day, shall we? For now, here are the ORIGINAL ten :-)
1. “You shall have no other gods before Me."
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.”
3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
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 your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”
Wowow... Good, eh?!!
Merry Xmas then and have a beautiful 2012!!
May all your DECENT dreams come true in the coming year :-)
Be good, and do all the good you can... It'll never go waste.