December 24, 2010

Poinsettias and the Twelve Days of Christmas

Poinsettias, a native Mexican plant, is named after Joel R. Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant to America in 1828. Poinsettias were likely used by Mexican Franciscans in their 17th century Christmas celebrations. One legend has it that a young Mexican boy, on his way to visit the village Nativity scene, realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green branches from along the road and brought them to the church. Though the other children mocked him, when the leaves were laid at the manger, a beautiful star-shaped flower appeared on each branch. The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant.

Twelve day of Christmas Song - History interprets the origin and popularity of a French song entitled ‘Twelve days of Christmas'. Actually it was a catechism song containing codes. During the mid 16th Century to the early 17th century Catholics were forbidden to practice their faith. The song was composed to teach Christianity to the children.

The twelve days are the days between the birth of Christ (Christmas, December 25) and the coming of the Magi (Epiphany, January 6). In the twelve days twelve gifts are presented by "my true love". True Love indicates God. The gifts offered respectively on the 12 days had specific meanings.

1st day - A Partridge in a Pear Tree symbolized Jesus Christ.
2nd day - Two Turtle doves signified Old and New Testaments.
3rd day - Three French hens signified Faith, Hope and Charity.
4th day - Four calling birds represented the four gospels or the four Evangelists.
5th day – Five gold rings referred to the first five books of the Old Testament.
6th day - Six Geese A-laying symbolized six days of creation.
7th day - Seven Swans A- swimming signified seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8th day - Eight Maids A- milking referred to the eight beatitudes.
9th day - Nine ladies dancing symbolized the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit.
10th day - Ten Lords A – leaping symbolized the Ten Commandments.
11th day - Eleven Pipers piping symbolized the eleven faithful apostles.
12th day - Twelve Drummers Drumming referred to the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.

May you have a wonderful Christmas filled with all your wishes and God’s Blessings!

1 comment :

  1. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog! I have never seen the 12 days of Christmas explained and I like it so much more now! IMy daughter eats lots of raw food so I will share those recipes with her. Have a happy Christmas.


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