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The 12 Days of Christmas

Dec 01, 2015

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a popular song based upon the two-week holiday. Keep reading to learn more about the carol and its origins!


The 12 Days of Christmas is celebrated over the end of December and beginning of January each year. It is celebrated differently across the world, and can be both a religious and a festive holiday. Some countries give gifts on one of the days, while others give gifts to their friends and family on each of the 12 days. Traditionally, the 12 days of Christmas begin December 26.

Christmas Carol

Sometime in the 1800s a carol was created around this holiday. The song was introduced to the US in the early 1900s, and is now a popular holiday hit. The song “The 12 Days of Christmas” describes one person’s gifts to his lover throughout the holiday. The song begins with a simple verse:

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...A partridge in a pear tree.”

The second verse builds upon the first verse.

“On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.”

The song continues to build upon itself until the lover has received all 12 gifts!

Presents Galore!

Each of the 12 days is represented by a different item:

Day 1 – A partridge in a pear tree

Day 2 – Two turtle doves

Day 3 – Three French hens

Day 4 – Four calling birds

Day 5 – Five golden rings

Day 6 – Six geese-a-laying

Day 7 – Seven swans-a-swimming

Day 8 – Eight maids-a-milking

Day 9 – Nine ladies dancing

Day 10 – Ten Lords-a-leaping

Day 11 – Eleven pipers piping

Day 12 – Twelve drummers drumming

Have Your Say

Have you heard the song before? Would you be happy if you received these gifts?! Leave a comment and let us know.

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