Wednesday, December 25, 2013

a look at the 12 days of christmas ---

the 12 days of christmas always intrigued me.  not necessarily the song -- some versions are annoying -- but the concept and it's history.  so i've decided to do some research and writing about them. be sure to check back over the next 12 days and learn more about each day ---

we'll start off with a bit of history on the 12 days of chrismas in general.  the 1st day of christmas is christmas day itself.  the 12 days stretch to january 6 - epiphany.  it dates back to the early 4th century christian church.

the 12 days of chirstmas first appeared in a children's book entitled  "mirth without mischief" in england in 1780.  it appears to be a memory game not a carol.  the first player would recite the verse, and each player would need to recite their verse and all of the previous ones.  if the player missed a verse they would give some sort of food to someone else.  this game became popular at 12th night parties - another tradition.  these parties were held the night of  january 5th (the 12th night).

the song dates back to the 18th century in either england or france..

there are different viewpoints on what the days mean and represent.  i will touch on two versions.

day 1 -  a partridge in a pear tree

folklore says that a young maiden was to walk backwards around a pear tree three times on christmas morning.  when she stopped and looked up into the branches she should see the image of her future husband.

in england, the red-legged partridge was known to sit in pear trees. this bird was not found in england until the french introduced it in 1770.  since the verse is earlier then the time many believe the song originates from france.

the christian symbolism of this first day of christmas the partridge represents jesus christ - our true love.

be sure to stop by tomorrow for day 2! :)

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