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.”