Why were there 12 days? Why not 13 or 15? What is the significance of 12 days?

Obviously I am not the first to wonder about this as there are a number of sites dealing with this very issue. Most of these sites agree that the 12 days have a significance in the Christian calendar and that each of the gifts are Christian symbols.

I am more interested in the numerical value chosen. The 12 days **after** Christmas to Ephiphany are meaningul in the church calendar. But that doesn't explain why they became the 12 days **before** Christmas in the song.

It turns out that 12 is an "abundant" number in mathematics. That means if you add 12 to the sum of its other divisors, 1,2,3,4 and 6, the result is more than 2 X 12.

I can picture an early mathematician creating the "12 days of Christmas" song to teach his math students more about **abundance** using the first **abundant** number, 12, as his starting point.

Now you've got something really interesting to talk about over that next glass of eggnog.

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That's the price you will pay to buy a $25 roll of US presidential coins from the US Mint. That's right. The mint makes a $10 profit on each roll of 25 of these $1 coins that are actually in circulation. |
## AuthorGeni Whitehouse, an accountant who thinks numbers can be art. ## Archives
September 2009
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