St. Stephen’s Day is celebrated in honor of the Christian Saint, famous for his services to poor people, and he was the first Christian martyr. St. Stephen was stoned to death in AD 36. In the books of Acts, Stephen was described as a man “full of grace and power.” The feast day is celebrated on December 26.
St. Stephen’s Day is celebrated on December 26, St. John’s Day on December 27, and Holy Innocent’s Day on December 28. All three figures lived during the time of Christ. They were martyrs by will and martyrs by deed.
Stephen was the patron saint of stone cutters and bricklayers due to his death by a stone-throwing mob. He became the patron saint of horses in many European countries. In Austria, people would dress their horses with ribbons and bring them to priest to receive blessings.
In Poland, people celebrate the day by throwing rice, oats, or walnuts at each other to remember the stoning of St. Stephen.
In England, St. Stephen’s Day is celebrated by giving gift boxes to house help, and the celebration is named “Boxing Day.” In the Christian community, St. Stephen guaranteed fair distributions of goods among the needy.
In Sweden and Norway, people encouraged the racing of horses on this day. Swedish men would sing folk songs to celebrate.
The researchers said that horses were sacred to the cult of Frey, fertility, and peace. In ancient Rome, the custom of racing horses around winter was linked to St. Stephen’s Day.
- Christmas box: In England, poor children used wooden boxes to collect money during Christmas. This custom is changed, and the exchange of gifts takes place.
- Horse: St. Stephen is a patron saint of horses. He had five horses, and he used to make rounds to preach the word of God.
- Wren: In England, it was custom to hunt the wren after Christmas. Young men would dress up in tree branches and hunt for the bird. Sometimes the bird was boiled and eaten.