All played out of trivial pursuit, and running out of topics of chat that don’t include Brexit, Trump or your current life plans? Here’s some fun and illuminating Boxing Day trivia to impress even the sternest of relatives!
1. Boxing Day is celebrated in most Commonwealth nations that have been settled by the English, including Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The United States are the notable exception, with it predominately seen as a shopping day, and rarely referred to as Boxing Day.
2. The 26th of December is also the Feast of St. Stephen. This day marks the first Christian martyr, Saint Stephen, who was an archdeacon of the Church responsible for charity and feeding of the poor, and was stoned to death for preaching about Jesus. Fun fact: St. Stephen is the patron saint of Serbia.
3. There is some debate around why it is called Boxing Day; some historians believe it could be so-named because servants would work Christmas Day, giving them the 26th off, when their employers would give them little boxed gifts. Others think it was named after charitable alms boxes given to the poor.
4. Boxing Day has a curious association with wrens: it used to be considered unlucky to kill a wren on any other day, but Boxing Day wren-hunting used to be popular sport in England years ago. In Ireland, it’s sometimes known as the Day of the Wren, where a fake wren is hunted and put on top of a decorated pole!
5. In coastal areas, lots of people join in on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day for a bracing dip or a Christmas swim in the icy cold sea. Rather them than me!
Words: Heidi Teague