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People are just realising what 'five gold rings' means in 12 Days of Xmas

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Many holiday songs are sung at Christmas.

Whether that's "The First Noel," "Jingle Bells," or "O Holy Night," there are several carols out there that get people into the spirit of the holidays.

However, some of the lyrics to the songs, like "12 Days of Christmas," have thrown people into a whirlwind of disbelief.

Especially the "five gold rings" part.

On Monday (19 December), Dr Anna Hughes, who is an astrophysics PhD, who works in quantum computing, took to her Twitter to speak about what she came to realise in the lyrics.

"Learning that "five gooolden riings" is not, in fact, referring to 5 literal golden rings, but to five ring-necked pheasants, aka more birds," she tweeted.

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People took to the comment section of Hughes' post to share their surprise at finding out the meaning of the "golden rings."

They also revealed other lyrics they thought were one thing but really weren't.

One person wrote: "I read this out loud to my partner, and he shouted 'No!' as if I had just told him Christmas was canceled forever."

"Wow, it never once occurred to me that the maids are milking cows. I always thought they were breastfeeding babies," another quipped.

A third wrote: "But that is the one you get to sing dramatically and extend the notes and apply operatic vibrato, and that won't work if you are singing about pheasants."

Someone else added: "So. MANY. Birbs. in that song."

Check out other reactions below.


According to a report from Good Housekeeping, the "12 Days of Christmas" have changed over the years.

The carol, also known as the Twelvetide in Christianity, referenced the "12 days following Christmas," also known as Twelvetide in Christianity.

This begins with the birth of Jesus Christ on 25 December and ends with the Three Wise Men (Three Kings Day) on 6 January.

The weeks before Christmas is Advent, which is where the creation of advent calendars comes from.

Although some scholars think the song has origins in France, the carol made an appearance in the English children's book Mirth With-out Mischief, published in 1780.

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