Where did the name 'Boxing Day' come from?
And what is Christmastide, Epiphany and St Stephen’s Day?
On December 26, when you settle down with some Christmas leftovers, you may be surprised to know that Christmas is not over! In fact, according to age-old tradition, it has just begun.
Until the 19th century, December 25 marked only the beginning of Christmas in many Christian churches.
This was followed by 12 days of Christmas, tying in with the journey of the Magi (the wise men) to see baby Jesus and culminating with the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6 (sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day).
For Christians in some parts of the world (particularly those from Orthodox and Catholic backgrounds), January 6 is more important than December 25. Just as the wise men presented gifts to Jesus on this day, many Christians still give their Christmas presents on the Feast of the Epiphany.