On the Twelfth Day of Christmas …

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me –

Twelve drummers drumming.

I bring you drummers from South Korea, which is appropriate. It’s September, and they’re celebrating Chuseok, which is a sort of secular Harvest Festival. But it fills the place in the calendar that Christmas does here. It’s a time to spend with family and friends, to exchange gifts, and generally to have a good time. Bring on the drummers and dancers!

Chuseok at the National Museum of Korea, Seoul, September 2016

There are moments when you have no fewer, and no more than twelve drummers before you. But you’ll have to keep your wits about you.

And that’s it. The end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Tonight’s the time to take down the tree, tidy away cards and decorations … till next year. It’s all over unless you’re Spanish, or from a range of Latin American countries, in which case you’ll be celebrating El Dia de los Reyes, or Los Reyes Magos, when the Three Kings visited the infant Jesus. A great excuse for a party!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas …

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me –

Ten lords a-leaping.

They’ve brought their partners with them. I hope you don’t mind. But lords a-leaping do need their ladies dancing to keep them on their toes.

This is the same troupe of Catalan dancers whom you met yesterday, entertaining us and each other, with their leaping and dancing. I can’t be certain that they’re lords, but some of them look pretty fine to me.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas …

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me –

Eight maids a-milking …

I’m so sorry. Those milkmaids must have stayed up to see the New Year in. I’m sure they’ll be along in a minute The cows are here, and I’ll make sure those young women get a-milking the second they appear. Meanwhile … Happy New Year!

On the Seventh Day of Christmas …

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me –

Seven swans a swimming …

Nobody said the seven swans couldn’t include cygnets. Or that they had to be real swans. The silver swan is a nineteenth century automaton at The Bowes Museum, whose story you can read here.