Boxing Day takes place on December 26th and is only celebrated in a few countries. It was started in the UK about 800 years ago, during the Middle Ages. It might have been the Romans that first brought this type of collecting box to the UK, but they used them to collect money for the betting games which they played during their winter celebrations! (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).
Boxing Day has now become another public holiday in countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is also the traditional day that Pantomimes started to play. There are also often sports played on Boxing Day in the UK, especially horse racing and football matches!
In Ireland, Boxing Day is known as “St Stephen’s Day” and is famous for its “Wren Boys”. St Stephen was killed, purportedly stoned to death, for believing in Jesus. In Ireland the Wren Boys would go out and stone Wrens to death then with blackened faces, carry their catch around the town knocking at doors and asking for money. This barbaric act has now stopped but the Wrens Boys will still dress up and parade around time though, but collecting money for charity. With guests often popping in for a snack and quick drink, the food and drink on Boxing Day is more relaxed than Christmas Day. Lunch will usually be a buffet or leftovers from Christmas lunch. Baked Ham is a popular Boxing Day meat and of course, Mince Pies with Brandy Butter or a slice of Christmas Cake are almost obligatory.
The 26th December is also St. Stephen’s Day. Just to confuse things, there are two St. Stephens in history! The first St. Stephen was a very early follower of Jesus and was the first Christian Martyr (a person who dies for their religious beliefs). He was stoned to death by Jews who didn’t believe in Jesus.
The second St. Stephen was a Missionary, in Sweden, in the 800s. He loved all animals but particularly horses (perhaps why there is traditionally horse racing on Boxing Day). He was also a martyr and was killed by pagans in Sweden. In Germany there was a tradition that horses would be ridden around the inside of the church during the St. Stephen’s Day service! (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).
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