The 12 Days of Christmas actually have a hidden meaning. In this blog post, I share what each one means and a blog post link to each day for more details. Plus there is a FREE printable.
The Hidden Meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas
The 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days that separate Christmas Day on December 25 and ends on January 5, with the next day being Epiphany, which is celebrated January 6.
Depending on the church, January 6 may mark Christ’s baptism (in the Catholic tradition), or it may mark the day that the wise men (or the Magi) visited Jesus with their gifts.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is also known as Twelvetide.
The Magi may have visited Jesus by the time he was two years old. The Bible shows that it mentions Harold killing all male babies 2 years old or younger based on when the start was first seen.
The Day of Epiphany is when the church celebrates the revelation of Christ as the light of the world and recalls the journey of the Magi. Magi means wise men.
From 1558 until 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During that era someone wrote ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution. The song has two levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.
Some beliefs believe that the day after Christmas started the 12 Days of Christmas. You also hear some people think its the 12 days that lead up to Christmas. But reality, it starts on December 25, that is the first day.
Starting December 25 to January 5, I am going to republished each of the 12 Days of Christmas. So stay tuned by following today! You won’t want to miss the hidden meaning of each of the 12 days of Christmas. (Each day is listed below)
Links to each day of the 12 Days of Christmas:
Each Day of Christmas below, also has it’s own FREE Printable for each Day!
- First Day of Christmas December 25
- Second Day of Christmas December 26
- Third Day of Christmas December 27
- Fourth Day of Christmas December 28
- Fifth Day of Christmas December 29
- Sixth Day of Christmas December 30
- Seventh Day of Christmas December 31
- Eighth Day of Christmas January 1
- Ninth Day of Christmas January 2
- Tenth Day of Christmas January 3
- Eleventh Day of Christmas January 4
- Twelfth Day of Christmas January 5
Let’s not forget the Day of Epiphany (Three Kings Day) on January 6.
Click the image below to download a free printable version!
The First Day of Christmas
Intro | First Day | Second Day | Third Day | Fourth Day | Fifth Day | Sixth Day | Seventh Day | Eighth Day | Ninth Day | Tenth Day | Eleventh Day | Twelfth Day | Day of Epiphany
Check out this parody on the 12 Days of Christmas but using Cats, 12 Days of CatMas
*This was found Online somewhere and used in a Past issue of my Christmas Newsletter, Patterson Post. Ran in these Patterson Post issues: 2005, 2006 & 2016 issue. First published December 24, 2013. Last Republished or updated December 4, 2022.
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9 thoughts on “The Hidden Meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas (Free Printable)”
This was very interesting. I never knew there to be an underlying meaning to the 12 Days of Christmas. Where did you originally learn about that?
@Brian Scott I am testing a new commenting system, I want to see if you get this comment reply. I also just noticed that I got a comment from you on here. Thanks for the comment. Yea, I found this years ago and used it in my family Christmas Newsletter, Patterson Post. I figured I would also now share it on here. I wished I had the source where I exactly found it, but I still thought these 12 Days of Christmas was very interesting.
Good afternoon, Steve. This is great information, I didn’t realize when the 12 days of Christmas were. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas!
You are welcome. Not many people do. You always hear them before Christmas, but they are after. Thanks for the comment.
Although no one is quite sure exactly how old the lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” are, they were already considered “traditional” by the time the rhyme was first published around 1780.
Thank you for the comment. Have a great day. Sometimes older stuff can be guessed at or around a time period. Today, we have a much better time-stamping for such things due to technology. Merry CHRISTmas!