Monday, 24 December 2012

The Twelve Days of Christmas...

 I was idly thinking about Christmas...
As one does when there is nothing better to do.
I, probably like many, thought the 12 days 
ended on Christmas Day...
But not so.
Here are five things I discovered...

1. The 'Tweve Days' don't end on Christmas Day -  They begin on it...
 According to the 'Holy Trinity Catholic church'
the Twelve Days begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5th, 
marking the time of 'merry making' until the Epiphany. 
The singer's true love is generously extending his or her gift-giving
for nearly two weeks after Christmas Day.

2. It's 'four colly birds', not 'four calling birds'.
'Colly' is an obsolete synonym for 'grimy or sooty like a chimney sweep -
and the song's 'colly birds' are actually blackbirds. 
It is unclear why anyone's true love would actually give them four
blackbirds, but the song's idea of a charming gift does skew
towards the ornithological (swans, geese, hens etc).

3. 'Five golden rings' may actually refer to five pheasants.
The songs seemingly bizarre switch from four birds to five
pieces of jewellery, and back to six birds actually makes perfect
sense. The 'five golden rings' are likely 
 reference to ring-necked pheasants.

4. The total number of gifts given in
'The Twelve Days of Christmas' is 364.
Multiply each gift by the number of times 
it occurs in a full round of the song
and you'll see that the gifts recipient would have to rent a storage unit
(and possibly a lake) to contain the bounty, 
including 42 swans-a-swimming
22 pipers-piping and 40 maids-a-milking!

5. In 2012, your true love would have to spend $107,300 (USA)
 to buy all 364 presents.
PNC Wealth Management has calculated the cost of the gifts every year
since 1984, in an annual report called the 'Christmas Price Index'.
In 1984 the same gift assortment woud have cost $61,300.
Those determinedly mobile swans are the most expensive at $1,000 each!

 And then... According to some there is...

And just for New Zealander's there is...


This is according to Toby Manhire who writes the article
'The Internaut' in The New Zealand Listener
I'm sure you will love or hate the inferences here!
Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

  1. I've always thought that one day of Christmas was quite sufficient...