2020 minus 06: Boxing Day

Posted: 26 December 2019 in 2020 minus, Christmas
Tags: , ,

There are plenty of stories about how Boxing Day got its name. And, as whenever there are conflicting stories and there no one, generally agreed origin, my advice is pick the one you like and stick to it.

And, you know what? Even when there is an agreed tradition, folk etymology takes over as often as not.

Sirloin steak got its name from the French, because the cut of meat is sûr – on top of – the loin. Still, plenty of people prefer the legend that King Henry The Eighth enjoyed his meal so much, he jokingly knighted it.

My favourite one about names of things and reasons for them: almost the only things people know about Jewish weddings are
they take place under a canopy, and
the wedding ceremony ends when a glass is broken by the groom stamping on it, to cries of mazeltov from everyone.

Where did that tradition come from?

The official reason is to remember the destruction of The Temple, so that even in the midst of joy, you remember.

The unofficial reason is that you drink a wedding toast out of the glass, and then destroy the glass so no lesser toast can be drunk from it.

The entirely unofficial reason is that it marks the last time the groom gets to put his foot down over anything.

I like the second one, even though I know it’s not the ‘real’ reason.

Whatever your preferred story for how things happened, why traditions started, enjoy them.

See you tomorrow with, hopefully, something more substantial.

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