Countries in Europe sometimes think that spirits roam free in the 12 days before Christmas. These spirits are both good and evil. The 12 days of Christmas can vary depending on when you begin counting. Some start counting on Christmas day while others start on December 6. These days were established because of a festival in 567 A.D that was held by some of the Roman bishops. The bishops wanted the festival to be harmonious and joyful instead of one that involved a lot of drinking and rambunctious activity.
The 12 days were still working days. People didn’t get time off from what they did on a daily basis. It was believed at the time that spirits would visit homes and that the only way to keep them away was to clean the inside of the homes. Some of the spirits were friendly and offered assistance. This is where the notion of Santa’s elves came from because the spirits helped with cleaning and other activities in the home compared to the raging spirits would sometimes cause issues for homeowners. Most people today will associate the 12 days of Christmas with the popular song that is heard over the holiday season.