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St Stephen's Day

08 Dec 2021

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Saint Stephen's Day is the second day of Christmastide and is celebrated in honour of one of the first Christian martyrs, Saint Stephen, who was stoned to death in 36 AD.

It is said he was a deacon in the early Church at Jerusalem who was accused of blasphemy and was stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul, a Pharisee and Roman citizen who would later become a Christian apostle.

In the United Kingdom
and some Commonwealth countries, the 26th December is commonly known as Boxing Day, which takes its name from the practice of giving small gifts to household servants on that day for their work throughout the year.

In Ireland the holiday is sometimes called Wren Day, because in the past a wren would be killed and taken door-to-door by children asking for money in exchange for a wren’s feather, which people believed brought good luck. The tradition of going house-to-house on St. Stephen’s Day survives in many countries, especially in Scandinavia, where the day is observed by visiting friends and going to parties.

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