The Smart Happy Project: 12 days of christmas!

Lisa's new monthly blog will help you develop a new superpower - to find the patterns in nature. Today's activity is all about christmas!

There are lots of numbers in Christmas aren’t there? The advent calendar kicks off the month and I’m sure you have most of the 24 windows open by now. Then there
is the 12 days of Christmas which actually only starts on Christmas day. Do you know the carol? I’m not sure of the origins of the song but I imagine it was from olden days to help remember things. The 12 days of Christmas is the time between the birth of Jesus and the 6th January when the wise men visited bearing gifts. In olden days it was a time of great feasting and merriment.

natural gifts

Anyway seeing as numbers in nature are my thing I wanted to write a new take on the carol, maybe you can sing it on Christmas day! And spot some of the symmetries mentioned that are out there for us all to see.

Take a look at my carol below:

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
A full moon in a bright sky.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Two bivalve shells and a full moon in a bright sky.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Three tri form leaves, two bivalve shells and a full moon in a bright sky.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Four tides in today..... and so on, I’m sure you know the tune...

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Five star shape seeds....

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Sixes in a snowflake....

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Sev’n stars of the Plough...

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eight spiral snail shells....

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Nine planets of the Heavens....

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Ten petals of a flower....

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eleven double rainbows....

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Twelve pomegranates,
Eleven double rainbows,
Ten petals in a flower,
Nine planets in the heavens,
Eight spiral snail shells,
Sev’n stars of the Plough,
Sixes in a snowflake,
Five star shape seeds,
Four tides in today,
Three tri form leaves,
Two bivalve shells and a full moon in a bright sky!

Notes for parents and carers
Numbers need not only be values but qualities reflected in the world around us. For ancient philosophers to whom science, geometry and nature were intricately linked, they not only used numbers as tools to count but believed the numbers one through twelve held deep links to the universe and it’s make up.

On an observational level; circles, triangles and pentagons are just some of the natural geometries we encounter every day. While the concepts of duality, balance and regeneration can all be linked to the patterns we observe in the passing of time.

For more on the symmetries mentioned in the carol visit https://thesmarthappyproject.com/12-days-of-christmas. Who would have believed that a simple carol could take us to the ratio of double rainbows, DNA structure, how water vapour crystalizes and fibonacci spirals?

Have a very Happy Christmas!
Lisa