Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Day 3

Christmas being a feast of 12 days this is technically the third day ... Many "major" feasts in the Christian calendar have an "Octave" - in other words they last for eight days - and Christmas is no exception. So how did it get twelve days?

That's an easy one. There are four "saints" days between Christmas and Epiphany, the day the "Wise Men" arrived in Bethlehem. The four additional feasts are a bit dependent on which calendar one is following, but St Stephen, The Holy Innocents, The Circumcision of Christ are three everyone agrees to. Anglicans also celebrate Thomas Beckett and other calendars include either him or another martyr.

Traditionlly St Stephen's Day, called Boxing Day in English speaking countries, is the day on which servants had a day off ad received "Boxes" from their employers. Sadly, these days, Messrs Sainsbury, Tesco, et al tend to follow the Scrooge line of thought when it comes to employees.

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