Archive for boxing day

‘Good old King Wencelas – Bohemian benefactor?’

Posted in CHRISTMAS, DESIGN, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, PAST PLACES with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2009 by echostains

St Wencelas

I’m typing this post on 26th December, the feast of Stephen – otherwise known as Boxing Day.  Traditionally this is the day where presents were opened by the needy – given by the privileged.  Well I suppose  we are either too needy now, or we just couldn’t wait, as the majority of us open our presents on Christmas day.  I love the carol ‘Good King Wencelas’ because  it is a narrative of a story, making it easy to imagine the page and Monarch going forth in search of the poor man, who is to be found under the mountain against the forest fence, just near St Agnes’s fountain.

Wencelas is the middle one

It is such a beautiful carol that promises  reward for helping people less fortunate than ourselves.  But who was King Wencelas and did he really exist?  The answer is yes he did and little did I know when I sang this carol as a child that one day I would be crossing a bridge that commemorates this saint amongst others.

King Wencelslaus was actually the Duke  of Bohemia in the 10th Century as well as   the Patron saint of the Czech republic. The bridge I am referring to is  Charles bridge in Prague

charles bridge Prague

Wencelas Square is a place of many historical happenings, uprising and celebrations all happen here, all overlooked by the statue of Wencelas on his horse.  However all is not what it seems with Wencelas, who it is argued was not called Wencelas, was not a king and was far from good!  You’ve heard of chestnuts roasting on an open fire? well, the old Duke/King  liked to do this with non believers apparently…read all about it HERE

There is a lot of information about the legend of  Wencelas HERE and other derivations of this saint, contrast and compare…….

 

Advertisements

‘Christmas an anti climax?’

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, CHRISTMAS with tags , , , , on December 26, 2009 by echostains

my lovely snow boots which I can't wait to try out!

After a huge Christmas dinner, it has been decided (the same as every year) that I MUST go on a diet in the New Year.  In fact this always becomes a resolution that doesn’t take long for me to rebel against.  One of my Christmas presents was a pair of snow boots! What a coincidence that I was writing about slipping and sliding in the snow only the other day!  Of course the snow is now melting………..

I don’t believe it (said in a slightly slurred Victor Meldrew voice) who? see above.  Someone who shall remain nameless bought me  the ‘Mr Darcy Vampire’ book!  Now I shall have to read it when I’ve finished ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barber’s tale’ by Chris Firth, which is going down very well with me and which I’m nearly halfway through.  But at the moment 8PM Christmas day when I’m writing this, I am recycling all the leftover veg into a tasty and nourishing soup (hopefully)

Mr Darcy Vampire 'He a beauty? I'd soon as call his mother a wit'

 

It’s been a lovely Christmas day and I’m now relaxing with a drink or two.  In fact I have been so good today booze wise – just a couple of sips of wine with dinner and a couple of vodkas and cokes.  Boxing day to look forward to now and then it’s all over.  So much preparation for such a short time.  Why do we do it?   Because it wouldn’t be Christmas without all the hassle?  The run up to the main event is much longer than the actual event itself, it’s making Christmas an actual anti climax.

 

Boxing Day – lucky for some: unlucky for wrens

Posted in CHRISTMAS with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by echostains
Tom Smith cracker

Tom Smith cracker

 

I never knew there were so many traditions associated with Boxing day.  From giving gifts to the lower classes of people to the stoning of wrens!   Apparently this to relates to the stoning of St Stephen (whose birthday it also is).  There are some interesting facts about Boxing Day on these sites: –http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/boxingday.asp

http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/boxingday.shtml

Tom Smith

 http://www.thekingofcrackers.co.uk/reproduction-prints.htm