Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Wren Day and St. Stephen’s Day

Dec 26

December 26 has a number of holidays attached to it. Did you give your true love two turtle doves? Probably not, but there might be wren involved, or a box, or the start of a harvest festival, or a day to honor a saint.

From my blogs, here is some information on each.

Today is Boxing Day, a mostly British holiday. But why is it called “Boxing Day?”

The newest holiday for this day is Kwanzaa , a celebration of African-American heritage. And what are its origin and etymology?

St. Stephen’s Day is the oldest celebration of the 26th of December I found. It honors of the first Christian martyr. He was a Christian deacon in Jerusalem who was known for his service to the poor, and is the first Christian martyr. For his beliefs in Christianity, he was stoned to death in AD 36.

In the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas,” we hear:

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even

For me, the oddest of celebrations today is Wren Day. In some countries, “wren-boys” go from house to house, carrying a holly bush adorned with ribbons and figures of birds. They sing:

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
St. Stephen’s Day was caught in the furze,
Although he is little, his family’s great,
I pray you, good landlady, give us a treat.
If you haven’t a penny a halfpenny will do.
If you haven’t a halfpenny
God bless you.”

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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