1 True Love refers to God; 2 Turtle Doves refer to the Old and New Testaments; 3 French Hens refer to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues; 4 Calling Birds refer to the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists; 5 Golden Rings refer to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of humankind's fall from grace; 6 Geese A-laying refer to the six days of creation; 7 Swans A-swimming refer to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments; 8 Maids A-milking refer to the eight beatitudes; 9 Ladies Dancing refer to the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit; 10 Lords A-leaping refer to the ten commandments; 11 Pipers Piping refer to the eleven faithful apostles; 12 Drummers Drumming refer to the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.
Whether or not the religious connections are the origins of the song, it is a fun song to sing, helps with counting, classifying, sorting, number sense, sequencing, and more! Traditionally, the first night of Christmas is Christmas, December 25, with the first day of Christmas being the day after Christmas, December 26. Twelfth Night is January 5 and on January 6, the Epiphany or the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem, marks the Twelfth Day and the close of the Christmas season or Christmastide.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! The next blog will post January 1, 2009 and then every Wednesday for the rest of the school year.
Partridge in a Pear Tree graphic from www.amishshop.com