Monday, December 29, 2008

426. Five Gold Rings

Earlier this evening a friend and I were tooling around town when he - my friend, who is an atheist - noted the number of Christmas lights still burning in windows and yards. I remarked we were only on the fifth day of the season, a remark met with a polite but obvious smirk. "What do you mean, the fifth day?" I answered, "Haven't you ever heard the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' and all the associated gifts?" I knew he had - he is a musician himself, and sang in the choir as a kid at both Ballard High School and Bates Memorial Baptist Church. He said he did, but never really knew there was a whole season devoted to Christmas, other than the marketing one "as seen on TV."

For Christians who follow the liturgical calendar, we are on the Fifth Day of Christmas, the one with the Five Gold Rings, which apparently did not refer to any rings on your fingers, but rather to the ring-necked pheasants popular with the nobility and royalty. There are, of course, twelve different days of gifts, from the first day's "partridge in a pear tree," to the twelfth's "twelve lords a leaping." The song first appeared in print as a poem in a British children's book in 1780, but probably dates back to a century earlier from France. In any event, we have seven more days of Christmas left, both in the song and in the season. Then comes Epiphany on January 6th. Very early in the blog, in the third entry, was a posting called Epiphany, although the text of that post was more about our local form of government than anything else.

Until the 6th of January, continue to enjoy the Christmas season, even if, for whatever reason, you do not celebrate the Twelve Days.

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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.