Christmas and 12 Days of Celebration

Right after Christmas, follows the 12 days of Christmas which is a festive period that lasts till 6th of January and is named Epiphany. The most common symbols for this festive period are Calling Birds, Golden Rings, French Hens and Turtle Doves etc.

How the Festival came to be

The 12 days of Christmas is an old traditional festival that has very ancient and deep rooted origin. Just like many other festivals around the world, this also has undergone a tremendous change in the way it is celebrated. The reasons being; the diversity among the churches and the sects; they have formed their own traditions to celebrate the festival.

These 12 days give reasons to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ beyond Christmas and is enjoyed by middle aged people. It is also customary for the youth in Catholic families to memorize the canon of their faith which is in the song of 12 days of Christmas. This tradition to memorize and sing rather than write it down is to avoid any written documents that might cause trouble.

Most of the words in the song are symbolic representation like ‘me’ referring to a baptized person and ‘true love’ representing The God. Even the other things like geese, swan etc mentioned are symbolic representations. It is also common to see that during this period of celebration, the rules are slack to the extent that men dress like women and vice versa in public. The other good thing about this festive period is that, the masters treat their servants well.

These 12 days of Christmas celebration was adapted by the Americans as they were colonized by the English who started this tradition. As years passed by, this underwent lots of changes. In fact, the wreath that is being used these days in the US is an English tradition.

21s Century Celebrations

The Americans celebrate this festival season by distributing gifts, feasting and enjoying the holiday season till Epiphany. There are also many families that celebrate by lighting candles every day throughout the period. In United Kingdom, there are few customs like feasting on plum pudding and even roasted goose that has not changed over the years. It is also a holiday in many Commonwealth Nations and they celebrate Boxing Day, which is a part of this festive season.

The 12 days of Christmas Song

This song in general talks about the gifts that are distributed on each day of Christmas. But, over the period of years, the lyrics have been modified, deleted and even new verses added retaining the original meaning. This is more like a Christmas Carol.

One Comment about “Christmas and 12 Days of Celebration”

  1. Kathln Says:

    How I wish people are still doing this 12 days of Christmas tradition. My grandfather is a Catholic and I remember we had this tradition too.

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