Another Counting Song

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     Although not the same as the familiar "Twelve Days of Christmas" of the English-speaking world, there is a counting song associated with Christmas in the Faroe Islands.
     Beginning with Christmas and lasting until the beginning of the Fast (Lent) the song is sung without instrumental accompaniment as a chain dance. During the last evening of the dance period children are allowed to dance with the adults. After midnight a special ceremony of "counting the days of Christmas," of which there are twenty, began at which the men danced bareheaded. The gifts of fifteen days are indicated on the two stamps: one feather, two geese, three sides of meat, four sheep, five cows, six oxen, seven dishes, eight ponies, nine banners, ten barrels, eleven goats, twelve men, thirteen hides, fourteen rounds of cheese or butter, and fifteen deer.

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