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Monday, 26 December 2016

Boxing Day - the Day after Christmas!

"Boxing Day takes place on December 26th and is only celebrated in a few countries; mainly ones historically connected to the UK (such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) and in many European countries. In Germany it is known as "Zweite Feiertag” (which means 'second celebration') and also “Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” which translates as Boxing Day (although it doesn’t literally mean that)!

It was started in the UK about 800 years ago, during the Middle Ages. It was the day when the alms box, collection boxes for the poor often kept in churches, were traditionally opened so that the contents could be distributed to poor people. Some churches still open these boxes on Boxing Day.



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!

In Holland, some collection boxes were made out of a rough pottery called 'earthenware' and were shaped like pigs. Perhaps this is where we get the term 'Piggy Bank'!

The Christmas Carol, Good King Wenceslas, is set on Boxing Day and is about a King in the Middle Ages who brings food to a poor family.

It was also traditional tthat servants got the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families on Boxing Day. Before World War II, it was common for working people (such as milkmen and butchers) to travel round their delivery places and collect their Christmas box or tip. This tradition has now mostly stopped and any Christmas tips, given to people such as postal workers and newspaper delivery children, are not normally given or collected on Boxing Day.

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! It's also when shops traditionally had big sales after Christmas in the UK (like Black Friday in the USA).

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 800's. 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!

St. Stephen's Day (or 'the feast of Stephen') is when the Carol 'Good King Wenceslas' is set. It's about helping the poor - so it has a strong connection to Boxing Day."

Words above taken from article, which has additional links, here

Talking about tradition, for as many years as I can remember, it was always a Boxing Day tradition for the family, with any relations who may be visiting, to enjoy a walk. Some years it was not possible due to very bad weather, but this year I think we will be in luck ... 

now where are my walking shoes, and my pink winter jacket

 Come on Eddie

 don't the berries look good

These photo's taken using a mobile phone from an earlier walk

Happy 26th December - Boxing Day
All the best Jan

21 comments:

Tom said...

...thanks, I never understood Boxing Day.

Mac n' Janet said...

Thanks for the info on Boxing Day, I wonder why America, as a former colony, never adopted this holiday. Hope you enjoyed your walk.

sage said...

Thanks for the insight. I've always heard of boxing day and never really knew what it was about except to muse about those returning presents to exchange in stores getting into fights as tempers flare and patience wanes. Happy Boxing Day!

Christine said...

Interesting reading about Boxing Day and glad you enjoyed a walk, we have freezing rain today, not a good idea for us!

only slightly confused said...

Happy Boxing Day to you too...I'll be 'boxing' up all the Christmas decorations and putting them away today.

Snowbird said...

How fascinating, I had no idea about the collection boxes, the thing you learn!Thanks for educating me. I do like your lovely pink coat!xxx

Jenn Jilks said...

Cannot believe Christmas is over!
Walkies here, after the ice pellets fell!!!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

happyone said...

I kind of knew about boxing day but not all the details that you mentioned. Thanks for the info.
Happy Boxing Day to you. Hope you got your walk in. : ) I did!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Well, being a Canadian, I guess I'm someone who knows what boxing day is! But not all the details you shared. It's always fun to learn new things.

It is so green where you are! I bet you enjoyed a lovely walk.

Conniecrafter said...

very interesting, I knew a bit about this from living in England for 4 years. Here a lot of people get out take advantage of the after Christmas sales when everything goes 50% off, and people take back returns of gifts. I am not thrilled with a lot of crowds so I wait a few days before getting out :)
Hope you enjoyed a lovely time with family

Linda said...

Thanks for the interesting history. I gave my servants the day off too! Ha ha, who am I kidding?

Sue (this n that) said...

Hi there Jan, thanks for all your visits this year. Interesting to read about Boxing Day way back then. Nice to see you in your pretty jacket. Hope you both enjoyed your walk. Cheerio and all the best for a very Happy New Year :D)

The Happy Whisk said...

Happy Boxing Day!

Mildred said...

Thank you for sharing this info on Boxing Day. So nice to be able to enjoy a walk. We had a very warm Christmas day and enjoyed time in the yard with our dog. All the best to you in the new year. I appreciate your blog visits.

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Um abraço e Boas Festas.
Andarilhar

Lowcarb team member said...

Francisco translation:
A hug and Happy Holidays.

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

I was just wondering about Boxing Day. Thanks for the information.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jan, always wondered what Boxing Day was all about! Such a nice tradition! Thank-you for explaining it so nicely. Lovely to see you both on your winter walk, too. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and that the New Year brings many blessings your way. Thank you for your dear condolences. xo Karen

Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting article! We had awful weather this Boxing Day so didn't get to go on a walk! That's a rarity for us!

Best wishes for 2017!

Phil Slade said...

Looks like you had a better Boxing Day of weather than we did - rain all day. It's a nice frosty morning now though. Might just have to get out in some of that fresh air. Happy New Year Jan and Edddie.

Magic Love Crow said...

Love the photos! Hope you had a great Boxing Day!