I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas Day and didn't over indulge too much! I came down with a horrible flu-like cold and today I have completely lost my voice. My husband says he is finding the peace and quiet very soothing! (Only joking!)
Today 26th December, is traditionally known in Britain as Boxing Day. There are many old traditions concerning Boxing Day and I thought it fun to add a few here .
Why is 26 December called Boxing Day? Traditionally, 26 December was the day to open the Christmas Box to share the contents with the poor.
What is a Christmas Box?
The Christmas box was a wooden or clay container where people placed gifts.
History of Boxing Day - Boxing Day origins.
To protect ships
During the Age of Exploration, when great sailing ships were setting off to discover new land, A Christmas Box was used as a good luck device. It was a small container placed on each ship while it was still in port. It was put there by a priest, and those crewmen who wanted to ensure a safe return would drop money into the box. It was then sealed up and kept on board for the entire voyage.
If the ship came home safely, the box was handed over to the priest in the exchange for the saying of a Mass of thanks for the success of the voyage. The Priest would keep the box sealed until Christmas when he would open it to share the contents with the poor.
To help the poor
An 'Alms Box' was placed in every church on Christmas Day, into which worshippers placed a gift for the poor of the parish. These boxes were always opened the day after Christmas, which is why that day became know as Boxing Day.
A present for the workers
Many poorly paid workers were required to work on Christmas Day and took the following day off to visit their families. As they prepared to leave, their employers would present them with Christmas boxes.
During the late 18th century, Lords and Ladies of the manor would "box up" their leftover food, or sometimes gifts and distribute them the day after Christmas to tenants who lived and worked on their lands.
And the tradition still continues today ......
The tradition of giving money to workers still continues today. It is customary for householders to give small gifts or monetary tips to regular visiting trades people (the milkman, dustman, coalman, paper boy etc.) and, in some work places, for employers to give a Christmas bonus to employees. Schools across the country gather together gifts to be put in Christmas Boxes that are sent to poorer countries.
Interesting Christmas Fact
The Christmas boxes were made from clay and were necessarily made in the shape of a box. They were often hollow clay balls with a slit in the top.
St Stephen's Day
Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen's Day (when Good King Wenceslas looked out).
'Good King Wenceslas looked out,
On the Feast of Stephen...........'
Who was St Stephen?
Stephen lived in Rome and was the first man to be killed for believing in the teachings of Jesus. His story is told in the Acts of the Apostles 6: 1 to 8: 2.
Some people claim that he shares this day with another St Stephen, who came from Sweden. St Stephen of Sweden is the patron saint of horses.
In Britain, Boxing Day has long be associated with outdoor sports, especially horse racing and hunting.
And finally! I am proud and pleased that EReader News Today has chosen "The Assassins' Village as its bargain book of the week! You can click on the ENT link here or the book picture above or The Assassins' Village text here for Amazon.co.uk. 'The Assassins' Village' will be priced at 99c or 85p for the next week - so please download your copy now!
Have a super break those of you who are fortunate enough to be able to take a few more days off and good reading