Sunday, December 28, 2008

12 Days of Christmas. LDS Resources.

The following is from LDS Resources.

"So, how did the idea of 12 days begin? Why not the Ten Days of Christmas or the Fourteen Days of Christmas? It all goes back to the early 4th century Christian church, which believed that January 6 (Epiphany) is the date that Christ was baptized, representing the birth of Jesus’ soul. This was more important than December 25th (the Winter Solstice at the time). It took a few hundred years; but, by the 6th century, the Christian emperor, Justinian, proclaimed Christmas as a public holiday, with 8 days of feasting. Then, by the 9th century, King Alfred of England increased the celebration from 8 days to 12 days. He declared December 25th - January 6th, with the twelfth day falling on January 6. Note: This means the actual night would be the day before on January 5."

"* The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ who died on a structure made from the wood of a tree. In ancient times a partridge was often used as mythological symbol of a divine, sacred king.

* Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. Doves symbolize peace and the Gospel contained in these scriptures, when practiced, brings peace.

* Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love - the three gifts of the Spirit that abide. This could also represent God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

* The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — the four Gospels which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

* The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

* The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

* Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit (Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy). (I Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4:10-11)"

To view the other five symbols, please see LDS Resources.

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