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Author Topic: what are the 12 days of christmas all about?  (Read 6383 times)

paul.fr

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« on: 26/12/2007 22:07:29 »
there must be a reason for them, and those gifts. Does anyone know it?


 

another_someone

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #1 on: 27/12/2007 19:01:20 »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_%28Christian%29
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Epiphany (Greek: επιφάνεια, "appearance" or "manifestation") is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the "shining forth" or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. The feast is also called Theophany, Twelfth Day—being the twelfth day after Christmas—or Three Kings Day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_%28Christian%29#Eastern_Christian_Churches
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Usually called the Feast of Theophany (Greek: Θεοφάνεια, "God shining forth" or "divine manifestation"), it is one of the Great Feasts of the liturgical year, being third in rank, behind only Pascha (Easter) and Pentecost in importance. Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany on January 6 (the date of January 6 on the Julian Calendar used by most Orthodox falls on January 19 of the modern Gregorian Calendar).

The first reference to the feast in the Eastern Church is a remark by St. Clement of Alexandria in Stromateis, I, xxi, 45:

    And there are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day… And the followers of Basilides hold the day of his baptism as a festival, spending the night before in readings. And they say that it was the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, the fifteenth day of the month Tubi; and some that it was the eleventh of the same month.

(The 11th and 15th of Tubi are January 6th and 10th respectively.)
 

Offline Freeholder

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #2 on: 07/01/2008 18:06:55 »
Here follows some traditional answers; I do know know the source. The song is a Christmastide review of Holy Writ, Old and New Testaments, as they relate to Jesus. I will abbreviate the answers leaving out the repeated words of the refrain:

I. On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...  A Partridge in a Pear Tree...

The Partridge in a pear tree represents Jesus, the Christ, which is a Greek word for Anointed (aka the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God) whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, Christmas Day.  (Please note that December 25 was also commemorated by certain pagans as the rebirth of the sun each year. December 25 was the first day that northern hemisphere astronomers could be sure that the sun was rising earlier and setting later than the day before, recovering (as it were) from its annual dip into darkness. This date was usurped by the Church as good a day as any to celebrate Jesus' birthday because it was a ready-made pagan celebration. It was not his birthday. Good scriptural detection indicates that the actual birth of Jesus was most likely in the Spring, near Succoth, the Jewish festival of Tabernacles, Tents or Booths, remembering the 40 years of wandering in the desert and the living in Tents following the giving of the Law to Moses.)

On the 2nd Day... Two Turtle Doves.  A traditional offering of thanks made in the Jerusalem Temple. Also connoting the Old and New Testaments, which bear witness to God's self-revelations in creating the world and the creation of a people to be a witness of God to the world.

On the 3rd Day...Three French Hens. They represent the Three Theological Virtues:  Faith, Hope and Charity (1 Corinthians 13:13).

On the 4th Day...Four Calling Birds.  Calling Birds are heraldic birds of announcement, not a real bird species. They call attention to the Four Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which together proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in the person of Jesus the Christ.

On the 5th Day... Five Golden Rings -- Representing the first five books of the Old Testament, attributed to Moses, aka the Torah or the Pentateuch. They are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  Together they tell the history of humanity's consistent sinful failures and God's consistent response of grace in the continuous creation of a people "To be a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel" (Nunc Dimittis, St Luke ii, 29, the Exaltation of Simion.)

On the 6th Day... Six Geese A-laying.  The six days of creation (Genesis1) are commorated here.

On the 7th Day... Seven Swans A-swimming. This day represents the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost:  1) Prophecy, 2) Ministry, 3) Teaching, 4) Exhortation, 5) Giving, 6) Leading, and    7) Compassion. (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12;8-11)

On the 8th Day... Eight Maids A-Milking. Here the eight Beatitudes are commemorated: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.  (Matthew 5:3-10)

On the 9th Day... Nine Ladies Dancing.  Here the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit are commemorated: 1) Love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness, 6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th Day... Ten Lords A-Leaping.  Here the Leaping Lords bring to mind the Ten Commandments: 1) I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make nor worship idols; 3) Do not take the Lord's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy; 5) Honor thy father and mother; 6)Do not murder, 7) Do not commit adultery;    8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness, 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

On the 11th Day... Eleven Pipers Piping.  The eleven faithful Apostles are the pipers, to wit 1) Simon Peter, 2)
Andrew, 3)James, 40 John, 5) Philip, 6 Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8)Thomas, 9)James bar Alphaeus, 10)Judas bar James, 11) Simon the Zealot. (Luke 6:14-16) This list excludes Judas  Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and to the Romans.

On the 12th Day... Twelve Drummers Drumming. Here are exposited the twelve points of doctrine  as listed in the Apostles's Creed:  1) I believe in God the Almighty Father, Creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary.  4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into Hell [Sheol, the grave]. 5) on the third day he rose again. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the quick (the living) and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Ghost, 8) the holy catholic (universal) Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 110 the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Wheehew This brings us up to 12th Night, and on to January 6, the Epiphany.  And that's the next step in the NeverEnding Story....
 

Offline tony6789

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #3 on: 08/01/2008 19:12:09 »
no no no no no NOOOOOO!!!!!! sorry free holder ur wrong =)) lol we made 12 days of xmas cause we were jealous of hanukka (pardon spelling) they had a whole 8 days of xmas so we thought "we cant have that" and we made 12 days of xmas and said oh yea wat know bi  tch!!! =) lol anyways the ppl who celabrate hanukka calebrate a bottle of oil that lasted for 8 days when it waz only supposed to last for 1 that it the same thing as me runing a  car on empty for about 10 miles! :0)
 

Offline tony6789

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #4 on: 09/01/2008 21:01:22 »
wat no1 care to challenge my knowledge??
 

another_someone

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #5 on: 10/01/2008 01:07:40 »
Don't need to worry too much about how one spells Hanukkah, since the only correct spelling is using the Hebrew alphabet (חנוכה), and any other spelling can only be a phonetic approximation - oh, and do remember to read the Hebrew from right to left, and remember they do not spell out the vowels anyway :).

It is true that Christmas approximately coincides with the Jewish Hanukkah, but Christmas is far more coincident with the pagan winter solstice festival (the festival of Yule, from which we have Yuletide).
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #6 on: 26/01/2008 22:12:45 »
Yet again I find myself concurring with young George. Christians usurped the pagan festival of Yule (Dec 21st). They did the same with Easter. That was nicked from the pagan Feast of Oestre (a female Goddess - pronounced Easter!).

In fact, I think I'm right in saying that every Christian festival was plopped on top of a pagan celebration. We pagans have had the last laugh, though, because we've still got more celebration days than Christians - and they're a lot more fun!  [^]

As for the 12 days of Christmas, guess what - based on a pagan tradition!
 

Offline razorbill

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #7 on: 27/01/2008 22:55:21 »
What are the 12 days of christmas about?...er, a week n 5 days!
 

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what are the 12 days of christmas all about?
« Reply #7 on: 27/01/2008 22:55:21 »

 

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