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A GUIDE TO THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

by OLLIE WOOD TKO
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Everyone knows the song, that earworm that haunts some and makes other beam with joy, but what is the history behind the yuletide staple? This is A GUIDE TO THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. To begin with, the 12 days of Christmas is a period during the Christian holiday period, beginning on the 25th of December and running for 12 days. The 12th day being January the 6th, which is also commonly know as 3 kings day. This is the day marked as when the 3 Kings (Melchior hailed from Persia, Gaspar (also called “Caspar” or “Jaspar”) from India, and Balthazar from Arabia,) visited the baby Jesus with gifts of wealth from around the world.

A GUIDE TO THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS


The period before this, 1st Dec til 24th dec, is more commonly know as advent, which we mark with calendars to note the day and are often filled with chocolate (my own personal one is 24 bottles of red wine), behind each window/door. In my househole we currently have 8 advent calendars and a shipment from the BWS aisle at the local supermarche.

A GUIDE TO THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
One week until Christmas


Of course, the song is a household staple in the Western world, over the festive period. Althought the origins and history of this are somewhat uncertain, it is believed that it comes of French origin and was a highly believed by historians to of been a ´memory or forfeits´ game. Children would have to repeat the previous verse and add the relevant verse in order, or be hit with a forfeit. Similar to ´My grandmother went to the supermarket and bought,´ for example.

The earliest known written log of this carol is found in the 1780 childrens book, ´Mirth With-out Mischief.´ A first edition of the book was sold at Sotherbys New York, in 2014, for $23,700.

There have been various chain mail style, spam emails, over the years, who have tried to explain the gifts given in the twelve days of christmas, to be secret code, for Catholics to remember their tenets of faith during the change of faith, when the Church of Engand came into place in England. However, this was debunked, quite credibly, by David Mikkelson on the Snopes website in 2000.

Also worth noting, as reported by popular website vox, the cost to give all 12 gifts in 2022, according to the Christmas Price Index, would be a hefty $45,523.27. Unless of course you were giving each gift, on every day, in which case the cost would actually be $197,071.09. Which in my personal opinion, is quite reasonable if it includes Alan Partidge in a Pear Tree.

A GUIDE TO THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

A GUIDE TO THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

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