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Friday, December 26, 2008

St. Stephan's, Boxing or Saturnalia Day

Today the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Martyr. St. Stephen was stoned to death (something my hippie friends tried without success back in the 70's) on this day in Jerusalem in 35 A.D.

St. Stephen became the patron saint of casket makers, headaches (no doubt he suffered a huge migraine that day), and the city of Owensboro, Ky, home of Lady Suzanne of Greenbriar. The angry Jewish mobs are reminiscent of trying to shop at WalMart on the day after Christmas.

Which brings us to the tradition of the Common Wealth nations to celebrate Boxing Day on this day. It has become a huge after Christmas shopping day, but it's origins where based in more ancient times and on a better reason than pure capitalism run amok.

Boxing Day was traditionally a time when the wealthier class gave gifts to the lower class after Christmas. It has its origins in ancient Rome, as do so many of our holidays. The ancient Romans celebrated during this time a Feast called Saturnalia, which expanded into a week long celebration, much like the 12 Days of Christmas.

Saturnalia's main feature among the tomfoolery and drinking was the exchanging of several small gifts and the reversal of social roles. Slaves were not punished during this time and were allowed to make fun of their masters. Masters even served their slaves during one of the main banquets.

There you have it, a brief history of this day after Christmas. So, if you don't feel like getting stoned, shopping or switching roles you might want to hide away for the day. Or in my case, I'm driving to Florida to start a week long Feast a la "Saturnalia"!

Sir Hook the Always Looking for a Reason to Feast of Warrick


  1. ...Well that saved me putting down my beer and blogging the Boxing day thing from the UK..:) Boxing day used to be quite big here in the sense that it was Christmas day re-run, usually in the In-laws or relatives house that was too far away for the relative involved to visit...or more usually...that the relative-inlaw that couldn't be in the same room without a fight or a fire being started.

    These days it has taken on the crazy position of what Black Friday is to Thankgiving is in America... and anyway it is nothing like winter or Christmas here right now...looking as it does more like Spring and sunny outside.

    and talking of Boxes... Thankyou Sir Hook and Aileen for the Bumper box of goodies i prised open yesterday. Okay so who was first with the dimpled Mug idea ?? hmmm well thankyou for that... this will do in case of accident or fight with my non troeg one. Seems like Troegs got quite a visit from you... and the Mad Elf T-shirt fits well..:)) so thats my this years wardrobe sorted... Thanks also for the georg Carlin Book v funny... ( i know you crease your jeans, hooky ) and the Bush Book...( fish in a barrel stuff :) and the Jew-Jitsu Book will i'm sure go down well when i have finished it and posted it off to the Gaza Strip.
    So thankyou again... and have a good trip... around...i too am sky-surfing but i have rustled up a couple of blogs to send on while on the way...

  2. You are most welcome! Armed with a Mad Elf T-Shirt, Dimpled Mug and Jew-Jitsu, you will be a sky-surfing MOFO with MOJO!