The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a festive Christian season celebrating the Birth of Jesus. In 567, the Council of Tours "proclaimed the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany as a sacred and festive season, and established the duty of Advent fasting in preparation for the feast.
For Christians in the dark AGES, the 12 days were a time of rededication and renewal. It was also a period when small, simple, and usually symbolic gifts of faith were given to children. Thus, in both coded poems and public worship, the twelve days were considered a holy period.
Each of the days was representative of Christian meaning:
The partridge in a pear tree represents Jesus, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on the first day of Christmas. Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge, the only bird that will die to protect its young.