FACT FOOD #47

In UK and many of the Commonwealth nations, December 26 is popularly known as ‘Boxing Day’. In Ireland and Romania, it is known as St. Stephen’s Day. There are many disputed origins for this name:

a. Some 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 gift boxes.

b. Another theory is that the metal boxes placed in churches where parishioners deposited coins for the poor were opened and the contents distributed on December 26, which is also the Feast of St. Stephen.

c. Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck.If the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.