Before Christmas, many Christians use the time of Advent to prepare themselves and get ready to celebrate the joy of Christmas, when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, who we believe is the Son of God.
The actual Christmas season continues until the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, which in the present form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on the Sunday after January 6, or the following Monday if that Sunday is Epiphany.
The true 12 days of Christmas varies across some 50 religious denominations, but the Catholic version has the Christmas season starting on December 25 and concluding with the Epiphany. Each day represents the celebration of a martyr, saint or a feast connected with Jesus' birth.
It is said that each item in the 12 Days Of Christmas song was a metaphor for a bible story.
"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree," symbolising God (true love) and Jesus Christ (the partridge).
Second day: Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Third day: Three French hens represented the three gifts of faith, hope and love.
Fourth day: Calling birds were the four gospels.
Fifth day: Five golden rings were the Books of Moses.
Sixth day: Geese a-laying stands for the six days of creation.
Seventh day: Swans a-swimming were the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Eighth day: Maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Ninth day: Ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit such as charity, peace and kindness.
Tenth day: Lords a-leaping represent the 10 Commandments.
Eleventh day: Pipers piping were the 11 apostles.
Twelfth day: Twelve drummers drumming represented the points of the Apostles Creed.
Bible studies are available at St Matthew to learn more about our Faith!