I really love birds, religion, history, eating food, symbology and etymology and the well known Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has all of that. The birds mentioned in this centuries old tune have had attached to them all kinds of symbolism, from Christian to pagan fertility rituals, from simple romantic gifts of love to the rudimentary and basic food sources.
Over the next few days, take a look with me at the birds in The Twelve Days of Christmas. It may just help you solve the next Dan Brown novel or at least answer a few questions on Jeopardy.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in Pear TreeThe partridge mentioned here probably refers to a Red-legged Partridge from France, which looks a lot like close relative to a Chukar to me. The Partridge has been used a symbol of Christ and of truth, but also its opposite, Satan and evil. Greek mythology even hints at a connection between partridges and pears. Pears and pear trees have their own historical symbolism of enduring love and masculine virility, but it could be that the transition from French to English just messed it up a bit as the French word Partridge is "Perdrix" pronounced pear-dree. The entire family of partridges are good eating, I am told, and the Reg-legged Partridge was probably on the table as part of the feasts during the holidays. (click here and here to learn more)