Boxing Day

Boxing Day, a secular holiday that usually falls on December 26th is observed across the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth nations. December 26th is  also St. Stephen’s Day.

The Boxing Day celebration which dates to the Middle Ages has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. The exact origin is unknown perhaps going back to the late Roman/early Christian era; metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen.

In the UK, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.  The custom is linked to an older English tradition: in exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowners’ Christmases ran smoothly, their servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families. The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses (and sometimes leftover food).

Tomorrow, Kwanzaa   Rita Bay

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