NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 6, 2012

Swan lake

'Seventh Day of Christmas' afloat in Amesbury

(Continued)

Even though the swans lay their eggs in the spring and summertime, Grinley still recommends that bird watchers keep their distance.

“They’re like any other wild bird,” Grinley said. “Keeping your distance is always a good idea, especially if you’re photographing them.”

Beyond the factors of migration and feeding, the arrival of the swans could be looked at as a holiday symbol.

The swan is considered an emblem of beauty by many cultures, and also as a symbol of love and fidelity thanks to each pair’s apparent life-long relationship.

In regards to “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” there is some debate over the significance of the swan. Many Catholics argue that each gift in the song represents a Catholic symbol, and that the seven swans represented the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Others argue the lyrics have no meaning at all.

From a purely economic standpoint, the swans taking up residence in Amesbury could be seen as a convenient excuse to save a whole bunch of money, too. According to PNC Wealth Management, a swan is the most expensive item in the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” carol, fetching $1,000 apiece.

That means if someone living on Lake Gardner attempted to obtain all the gifts in the song, having seven swans a-swimming out their back door would save $7,000.

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