I just learned this in my 4th grade religious education class…and no I’m not in 4th grade I teach 4th grade!
In 16th century England, two Jesuit priests were said to put together or compose a carol in which they devised a code for the basic truths of the Catholic faith. They are as follows:
A partridge in a Pear tree = Jesus Christ reigning from the cross
Two Turtle doves = old and new testaments
Three French hens = the 3 gifts of the magi
Four calling birds = the four Gospels
Five golden rings = the first five books of the bible
Six geese a laying = the six precepts of the church
Seven swans a swimming = seven sacraments
Eight maids a milking = the Beatitudes
Nine ladies dancing = the nine choirs of angels
Ten Lords a leaping = the Ten Commandments
Eleven Pipers piping = the Apostles after Judas’ death
Twelve Drummers drumming = twelve basic beliefs in the Apostles’ Creed
So there you have it the Twelve Days of Christmas explanation. And the twelve days begin the evening of 25th of December and continue until January 6th which many call “Little Christmas” also known as the Epiphany.