Where Did the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ Come From? [VIDEO]
We've all heard the song, "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ..." But have you ever wondered where did 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' originate?
Many people in American now begin celebrating Christmas on Black Friday. The shopping season kicks off with huge savings, and people begin decorating their homes and businesses in celebration of the season.
The Twelve Days of Christmas actually begin Christmas Day on December 25, and represent the days leading up to Epiphany on January 6. Sometimes this period of time is known as Christmastide, Twelvetide and Yuletide.
According to Snopes.com, the specific origins of the songs are unknown, but it possibly began as a Twelfth Night "memory-and-forfeits" game, where the leader recites a verse and the other players are expected to repeat it. As players make mistakes, they are penalized by offerring up a sweet or kiss.
The earliest known printed version of the song appeared in Mirth Without Mischief, and originated in French. Snopes also claims that the origins of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' may have been confused with the song 'A New Dial' also known as 'In Those Twelve Days,' which assigns religious meanings to each of the Twelve Days.
In our modern culture this celebration seems to have shifted as we primarily celebrate season leading up to and culminating on Christmas Day. Christmas traditions and customs have evolve, and been commercialized as Charles M. Schulz so adequately presented in 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.' Tomorrow there will be twelve days left before Christmas Day. Though we have begun celebrating the holiday earlier, it's still fun to learn about past traditions and customs as we remember the reason for the season.
Here's a slightly less traditional version of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'