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12 Days of Christmas

For the last 25 years, The Butchart Gardens in Victoria (Brentwood Bay, actually) has illuminated its world famous gardens with Christmas lights for the month of December. I go almost every year I am home, and this year I enjoyed a stroll through the gardens and dinner with Brigitte (my sister in-law) and my lovely neighbour, Ellen.

There is a very popular display of the Twelve Days of Christmas spread through the Gardens. The twelve days in the song represent the twelve festive days starting Christmas Day and ending the day before Epiphany Day (January 6, or the Twelfth Day). Some traditions celebrate Boxing Day as the first day and Epiphany as the 12th – either way it is a fun song! Enjoy my pictures of The Butchart Gardens’ rendition of the twelve days and sing along if you like.

The Butchart Gardens.

The Butchart Gardens.

Brigitte, Ellen and I.

Brigitte, Ellen and I.

Tens of thousands of coloured lights combine with evergreen swags and wreaths of holly and winter berries to line walkways – pure magic for small and big people alike.

Tens of thousands of coloured lights combine with evergreen swags and wreaths of holly and winter berries to line walkways – pure magic for small and big people alike.

The Twelve Days of Christmas spread though the Gardens.

The Twelve Days of Christmas spread though the Gardens. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English Christmas carol that enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...A Partridge in a Pear Tree.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...A Partridge in a Pear Tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

4 Colly Birds (with cell phones – haha!)

4 Colly Birds (with cell phones – haha!)

5 Golden Rings (in the pond).

5 Golden Rings (in the pond).

6 Geese-a-Laying.

6 Geese-a-Laying.

7 Swans-a-Swimming.

7 Swans-a-Swimming.

8 Maids-a-Milking. (My favourite display!)

8 Maids-a-Milking. (My favourite display!)

9 Ladies Dancing. (Can you tell which fairy tales they are from?)

9 Ladies Dancing. (Can you tell which fairy tales they are from?)

10 Lords-a-Leaping. (Trust me, there are 10 frogs leaping – too fast for my camera to catch!)

10 Lords-a-Leaping. (Trust me, there are 10 frogs leaping – too fast for my camera to catch!)

11 Pipers Piping (each in 11 arcades built for them under the former bowling alley).

11 Pipers Piping (each in 11 arcades built for them under the former bowling alley).

More pipers.

More pipers.

Still more pipers…

Still more pipers…

The last of the pipers!

The last of the pipers!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...12 Drummers Drumming (lining the driveway of the Gardens).

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...12 Drummers Drumming (lining the driveway of the Gardens).

A drummer, close up.

A drummer, close up.

Risalamande, traditional Danish pudding.

Risalamande, traditional Danish pudding.

My neighbour Ellen is Danish, and she tells me that on the first day of Christmas, the 25th in her family (for some Danes it is on Christmas Eve), they always eat a traditional Danish rice pudding with whipped cream and chopped almonds, served cold. It is called Risalamande. To add to the fun, the cook hides a whole almond in the pudding. The person who finds the almond gets the Almond Present, which is traditionally a marzipan pig that brings good fortune to the winner. Everyone waits until all the pudding is gone before disclosing who found the hidden nut.

Danes eat this luscious dessert with a cherry sauce called Kirsebaersauce spooned over the individual servings of rice pudding. Ellen serves it now with a strawberry coulis she thickens with a little cornstarch.

Here is my version of Risalamande, Epicurized of course!

Glaedelig jul! Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

May peace be your gift at the holidays and your blessing all year through!

Love,

Sylvie

 

2 Comments | Categories: Family, Food & Recipes | Tags:

2 Comments to 12 Days of Christmas

  1. by Wendy Kazimerczak

    On December 25, 2011 at 4:11 am

    I would even use your can of Cherries & Berries with the topping recipe. Sounds yummy, Thanks for sharing.
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

  2. by Cécile Pelletier

    On December 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I was there just last Sunday and forgot my camera! Now I can share the pictures. My grandchildren also skated on the 5ooo sq ft rink and rode the Rose Carousel. It was a magical family evening… Thanks for sharing Sylvie.Joyeux Noël!

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