Saturday, December 11, 2004

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is the following day after Christmas Day. The name goes back to medieval times, more than 800 years ago, when alms boxes were placed at the back of every church to collect money for the poor. Traditionally, it is on this day that the alms box at every English church is opened and the contents are distributed to the poor.

Historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, 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.

Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen's Day

He 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.

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