Homework Help

What is "The Twelve Days of Christmas" about?

user profile pic

kmsrocks678 | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted December 13, 2012 at 4:01 PM via web

dislike 4 like

What is "The Twelve Days of Christmas" about?

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

user profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 13, 2012 at 4:11 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 3 like

A very popular email always circulates about this time of year that claims the Twelve Days of Christmas carol was actually a secret message created by Catholics so they could still practice their faith during the days when the Anglican church strictly controlled England. This claim, however, is completely false.  The true origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas focuses on the twelve days which take place from December 25th to January 6th, marking the time from Christ's birth to the Epiphany, which celebrates the arrival of the Wise Men.   The song really celebrates what most people believe it to be about--merry gift giving and dancing.  Some of the original words have been altered over the years.  For example, the four "calling" birds were originally 'collie' birds, meaning black birds.  Moreover, musical historians suggest that the five golden rings might actually refer to birds with rings around their necks, like pheasants. 

Kristen Lentz

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes