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Boxing Day and Kwanzaa

Both Boxing Day and Kwanzaa are celebrated on December 26th of every year, but Kwanzaa goes on until January 1st. Check out the history behind these two very different holidays.

What Is Boxing Day?

With some stores open every day of the year, some of us know what it's like to work on Christmas Day. The difference between working now and back in Medieval times is significant. Back then, servants had to wait hand and foot on lords and ladies - and some of them weren't always that nice. While the family feasted on large meals and joyfully opened up presents, the paid staff continued to work very hard. But this doesn't mean servants had to go without Christmas and presents. The day after Christmas, faithful servants or employees would get a Christmas Box.

When Did It Start?

The first Boxing Day is believed to have started in the Middle Ages. This is just a guess cuz the exact date isn't known. How Boxing Day started is a question as well. Some say it started with the giving of Christmas Boxes, like the story above. Others think it was named for the tradition of priests opening boxes of goods left by parishioners during the holiday season. The contents were given out to the poor.

A Shopping Holiday

Only in the last century has Boxing Day become a holiday. Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In other countries, it is celebrated by a different name - in Ireland it's known as St. Stephans Day and in Italy as Santo Stefano. If December 26th falls on Saturday or Sunday, the public dedicates the following Monday to Boxing Day.

What Is Kwanzaa?

Although some people believe this holiday is a substitute for Christmas, it's not a religious holiday. Kwanzaa, which means "first fruit of the harvest" in Swahili, is an African-American holiday and is a time to focus on the traditional African values of family. For seven days, Kwanzaa is celebrated, each day focusing on a different principle or belief known as the Nguzo Saba.

Seven Principles of Nguzo Saba

  • Umoja (oo-Mo-jah) - unity
  • Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-yah) - self-determination
  • Ujima (oo-GEE-mah) - collective work and duty
  • Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) - cooperative economics
  • Nia (nee-YAH) - purpose
  • Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) - creativity
  • Imani (ee-MAH-nee) - faith

When Did It Start?

Besides bonding with families and communities, Kwanzaa is also a time to reflect on African-American history, heritage and culture. Kwanzaa was first created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga who was an important person in the civil rights movement. Today, millions of people take part in the feasts and celebrations every year.

Have Your Say

How do you celebrate Boxing Day or Kwanzaa? Leave a comment and let us know!

3 Comments

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What Do You Celebrate?

  • I celebrate Kwanzaa.
  • I celebrate Christmas.
  • I celebrate Hanukkah.
  • I celebrate something else.

General In The Forums

Hoellu
Hoellu posted in Food:
Banana
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Hoellu
Hoellu posted in Electronics:
"naruto200" wrote:I tried making a 3D demo of a game that never will get released. So that way I feal like I finished the project and so I can get the  experience I need for making a full game.Omg. Then I have to tell you something. OoO
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Shadeleaf
Shadeleaf posted in Random:
*coughs* Actually an agreeable post :3
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mrCali
mrCali posted in Random:
"-Damaged" wrote:I know it can be a little rough to get along with everyone we meet on a day to day basis, but as a community, we should all try to be a little kinder to one another.And that's not just on KW, being kind to people in general can not only improve someone else's day, but yours too! Spreading kindness and ignoring negativity is the best way to get through your day, so give it a shot.Have a good one! Respect -Damaged :) very well said
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ThePaleWalker636
Humans are creatures of habit, and I was no exception. Every Wednesday before classes started, I drove to my favorite coffee shop and ordered a cappuccino. I would sit in the same booth, and drink my coffee for the few minutes I had while the world rushed by. It was the same every time, and I never expected it to be different, until one day I saw a new face appear: an older man of unclear age, who sat in the booth across from me. I thought nothing of it. Why would I? It was merely another person I would probably never see again, or if I did, never remember. But I did see him again, next Wednesday. I still didn’t think much of it. Maybe he was just… a new regular. He didn’t matter to my life. Several weeks passed, and I increasingly began to notice the man in the booth across from me. He wore old clothes that looked well cared for throughout the years, and a hat with a faded emblem that I couldn’t read. The daily paper was always with him, except for the times when he brought a tattered journal, reading and sometimes writing in it. The thing that began to stick out the most over those weeks, though, was that he was always alone. No one ever talked to him except the barista to ask what he wanted (it was always a small, black coffee with two spoonful’s of sugar). After all those weeks, I finally worked up the courage to sit with him and introduce myself. I liked him from the moment he opened his mouth. I eventually learned he was a WW2 veteran, with several medals from various battles. We exchanged stories, I from college, and he from the war. After an hour, I finally realized how much time had passed and had to dart away, but we met again the next Wednesday. We became good friends, but our friendship was limited to phone calls and coffee shop visits. I didn’t know much of his personal life other than stories of his school days. I didn’t really wonder at all, until one day, a familiar face didn’t come. I was worried, though not too much. I simply had my coffee then went to classes. As the day went on, I was increasingly uneasy. He never, not even once, had been MIA. Then I got the phone call. It was a voice I had never heard, a doctor: my friend had suffered a heart attack and had given the nurse this number. He wanted me to come. I immediately left campus without a second thought, and when I arrived at the hospital, his doctor greeted me in front of my friend’s room. “Your father is certainly lucky to survive.” “Oh, I’m not his son.” I waved off the notion. “Really? Oh… You were the only number he gave us. Odd.” This stuck with me. I was the… only one. I was finally let in, and he was barely awake. Sitting down, I took his hand. “Are you sure there’s no one else you want here? Don’t you have any family?” He coughed out a chuckle. “No, kiddo. They’ve all been gone a while. I hope you don’t mind me pulling you away from your classes…” “No! I… I want to be here for you…” “By the way, the coffee here’s terrible. Would you mind going to pick up my usual?” “Small… black coffee with two spoonful’s of sugar.” And we both softly chuckled while I blinked away tears.     Befriend a veteran today.  
reply about 1 hour