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Christmas & Snow pics


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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2009, 11:34:19 pm »
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Boxing Day was traditionally a day on which the servants had a day off from their duties. Because of this the gentry would eat cold cuts and have a buffet-style feast prepared by the servants in advance. In modern times many families will still follow this tradition by eating a family-style buffet lunch, with cold cuts rather than a full cooked meal. It is a time for family, parlour games and sports in the UK.

The traditional recorded celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. The European tradition has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown and there are some claims that it goes back to the late Roman/early Christian era; metal boxes were placed outside churches used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen.[1]

In the United Kingdom it certainly became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas.[2] However, the exact etymology of the term "Boxing" is unclear, with several competing theories, none of which is definitively true.[3] Another possibility is that the name derives from an old English tradition: in exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowners' Christmases ran smoothly, their servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families. The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses (and sometimes leftover food). In addition, around the 1800s, churches opened their alms boxes (boxes where people place monetary donations) and distributed the contents to the poor.[4]

The establishment of Boxing Day as a defined public holiday under the legislation that created the UK's Bank Holidays started the separation of 'Boxing Day' from the 'Feast of St Stephen', and today it is almost entirely a secular holiday with a tradition of shopping and post-Christmas sales starting.

[edit] Public holiday
Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas Day.[1][2] Unlike St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is a secular holiday but is usually on 26 December unless this is a Sunday in which case it moves to 27th: the public holiday is always moved to the following Monday if 26 December is a Saturday or Sunday; for example if Christmas Day is a Friday, Boxing Day will be on Saturday but the public holiday will be the following Monday. And if it falls on a Saturday, then Boxing day will occur on Monday. In Ireland—when it was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland—the UK's Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St Stephen as a non-moveable public holiday on 26 December. Since Partition, the name "Boxing Day" is used only by the authorities in Northern Ireland (which remained part of the United Kingdom). There, Boxing Day is a movable public holiday in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 established "Boxing Day" as a public holiday in Scotland. In the Australian state of South Australia, 28 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day and Boxing Day is not normally a public holiday. However, Canada, the USA, and many other countries use Boxing day for commercial use. Items usually cost less and many sales are on. Traditionally people would save one of their gifts that was still wrapped and donate it to charity. Now it has turned into a much more commercial occasion, mainly for people to save money on many items.

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