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What The Twelve Days of Christmas Mean


Have you ever wondered about the meanings of the Twelve Days of Christmas?  These used to be very important, and Twelfth Night, on January 6th, was a time of great celebration.  Largely we have lost this idea, although some people make sure they take their decorations down by Twelfth Night, in the belief that it’s unlucky to leave them up past then.  In olden times the Twelve Days were supernatural, as spirits roamed and fairies played tricks.


There is a day for each month of the year that has passed, for the cycle is complete.  Change is the only constant, the seasons remind us of this, and the Twelve Days of Christmas, in the depth of winter, are a rite of passage.

DAY 0 DEC 25TH CHRISTMAS DAY.  Christmas Day isn’t included in the twelve.  This point, where all stands still, is the perfect time for a meditation.  For this please see A CHRISTMAS MEDITATION.

DAY 1 DEC 26TH BOXING DAY.  Also St. Stephen’s day.  Kings and Queens gave a ‘box’ or present to their subjects. Stephen was a generous and high-principled man who was especially kind to animals, so this is the Feast of the Animals.  They often show us the meaning of life so do a good deed for an animal today.

DAY 2 DEC 27TH MOTHER NIGHT.   The Saxons devoted this night to Germanic Mother Christmas, who brought fertility, abundance and justice.  She is really the ancient Mother Goddess.  Holy figures at Christmas can be very male.  Today think of your ideas of the Goddess and honour the earth.  If you are Christian pray to Our Lady, and make a fuss of your mum, who has probably done most of the work up till now.

DAY 3  DEC 28TH HOLY INNOCENTS DAY.  The children who were slaughtered by Herod, trying to kill Baby Jesus, are remembered today.  Honour children and praise them.  List three qualities that were special to you as a child and work at entering into the world of children.

DAY 4 DEC 29TH FEAST OF FOOLS.  In olden days folk were often prevented from acting the fool by religion, their masters and by the hard demands of life.  Letting go can be very good for you, unleashing creativity and showing new angles, so be a bit crazy today or have a party where everyone acts silly.

DAY 5 DEC 30TH FEAST OF THE BOAR.   Wild boar was hunted across Europe and the hog was sacred to the Celts.  Life is dependent on death and the Boar is a sacrifice.  This is rather a dark idea, so instead be grateful for the generosity of Nature and celebrate this with a feast of fruits and nuts, as a change from all the heavy food.

DAY 6 DEC 31ST. NEW YEAR’S EVE.  The last day of the Old Year, traditionally a time to clean the house, throw out all the rubbish and possibly get ready for a party.  There are many customs connected to New year’s Eve and your family may well have some of its own.  Think about what you want to be rid of, and leave it behind.

DAY 7 JAN 1ST NEW YEAR’S DAY.  We all know about resolutions, so consider a few – you don’t have to start today, especially if you’re hung over!  ( See MAKING AND KEEPING YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS)  In apple-growing parts of the country, now begins ‘wassailing’ or waking up the fruit trees, by singing and dancing.

  Snow has a special fascination, part of the magic of Christmas.  Water makes millions of different crystals, and we are now discovering that it responds to our thoughts and wishes.  Celebrate snow, and if there isn’t any, take up a glass of water, say ‘Peace’ three times, and drink it, imagining that priceless quality descending on you – like gentle snow-flakes.

DAY 9 JAN 3RD  EVERGREEN DAY.  The evergreen tree is a symbol of enduring life, keeping its greenery even when other trees are bare.  Our Christmas Tree is the best known, but before that tradition came over with Queen Victoria’s husband Albert, folk brought in holly, ivy, bay and other leaves, to remind them of Spring. 

DAY 10 JAN 4TH ST DISTAFF’S DAY.  In communities where all clothes had to be made from thread spun from wool or flax, the women now had to start work again, with their distaffs.  Old myths tell how goddesses spun the threads of Fate for humans, and today it is also traditional to use some form of divination.  Try crystal gazing or Tarot cards – better still, contact one of our readers at The Circle and make your St Distaff’s Day really memorable.

  The Three Wise men now brought their gifts to Jesus.  The extravaganza is almost over, what do you think about all you have given and received?  What ‘gift’ would you most like to give yourself?  Peace? Freedom?  Independence?  Reflect on how this could become yours over the coming year.

DAY 12 JAN 6TH TWELFTH NIGHT.  This is also the Feast of the Epiphany.  Celebrate finally, and put things away, giving thanks for yet another Festive Season.  Look now to the oncoming year.  Have you realized anything new?  Make a note of your Christmas thoughts as you prepare to move on.

It’s natural to want some extra knowledge, especially at this time of year.  We can offer medium readings and psychic readings and our on-line mediums are always there with their insight and wisdom from beyond this world.  Getting a reading could enable you to chill and enter into the seasonal spirit more deeply.  Put in a call today and feel reassured and uplifted.


PUBLISHED: 8 December 2014

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