Twelve Days of Christmas: YULE TRADITIONS AND SYMBOLS

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Twelve Days of Christmas: The custom of holding a twelve-day winter festival probably began with the ancient Egyptian Sun celebration, and then continued with the Babylonian Zagmuk.

Modern-day historians also allude to the fact that the twelve-day celebration may have originally been designed to honor the zodiacal wheel.

Be that as it may, the church reinvented the twelve-day custom when the holiday was Christianized.

Instead of revolving around the twelve days of solstice, their festival commenced on December 25 (the Christ-child’s new birthday)
and continued through Epiphany, or January 6, which was the day the gift-laden Magi supposedly arrived in Bethlehem.

During the Middle Ages, gift-giving on each of the festival days became a tradition.

This custom was the basis for the popular carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”