Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Snopes on the 12 Days of Christmas
On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five golden rings!
I was thinking of doing a post on the meaning behind the 12 Days of Christmas one day this week, and while researching it a bit I ran across this article on Snopes that pretty much shoots down the traditional beliefs about the song.
The article begins with the CLAIM:
The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was created as a coded reference to important articles of the Christian faith.
That's been the party line for the meaning behind the song, as it had been explained to me a while back. As one of my sources says:
From 1558 until 1829 CE, Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning; the surface meaning, plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.
But after reading Snopes' arguments, I'm less inclined to believe this.
Terry Mattingly's post at "Reconnecting to the Truth" back in 1999, "A Christmas Mystery: Twelve Days' Worth," is another good source on the subject, and Mattingly is actually referenced in the Snopes piece.
Wherever you stand on this, I hope you're enjoying the twelve days of Christmas, the days between the Nativity and the Feast of Theophany on January 6! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!