By | 26 Dec 2022 at 2:00 PM
St. Stephen’s Day 2022: Date, History and Importance

Many people celebrate the holidays with gift exchanges, decorations, and feasts. But one day in December is often overlooked; St. Stephen’s Day on December 26. The day is steeped in tradition and offers a unique celebration that you won’t want to miss out on. In this blog article, we will discuss what St. Stephen’s Day is all about and why it should be celebrated every year. From its religious origins to fun activities for the whole family, read on to learn more about this special day of remembrance and celebration.

What is St. Stephen’s Day?

St. Stephen’s Day, also known as the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian holiday commemorating the martyrdom of Saint Stephen. It is celebrated on December 26 in Western Christianity and on December 27 in Eastern Christianity. In many countries, it is a public holiday.

St. Stephen was one of the first seven deacons appointed by the early Church to serve the poor and distribution of alms. He was also a zealous preacher of the Gospel and his sermons angered the Jewish authorities who eventually stoned him to death for blasphemy. His martyrdom was traditionally seen as the first recorded instance of persecution of Christians.

The holiday began to be celebrated in the early Church and continued throughout the Middle Ages. Many different traditions developed over time, including Processions of Boats (a homage to when Saint Stephen’s body was said to have been transported by boat from Jerusalem), Feasts, Carols, and Plays. Today, St. Stephen’s Day is still celebrated in some parts of Europe with many of these traditional festivities taking place.

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The History of St. Stephen’s Day

The first St. Stephen’s Day was celebrated on December 26, 336. It is believed that this was the day when St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death. The holiday commemorates his courage in standing up for his beliefs.

In the early years of Christianity, persecutions were common and many Christians were martyred for their faith. St. Stephen’s Day served as a reminder of the price some had to pay for their beliefs. It also served as encouragement for others to remain faithful in the face of persecution.

Over time, the holiday became more secularized and today it is celebrated in many countries around the world with gift giving and feasting. In some countries, such as Ireland, Hungary and Slovakia, it is still considered a religious holiday.

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How Is St. Stephen’s Day Celebrated Today?

St. Stephen’s Day is a religious holiday celebrated on December 26th in honor of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The day is also known as the Feast of St. Stephen or Boxing Day in some countries.

Today, many Christians attend church services and prayers on St. Stephen’s Day. In some Spanish-speaking countries, such as Spain and Mexico, processions are held in honor of Saint Stephen. These often include life-sized puppets or effigies of the saint being carried through the streets.

In Hungary, it is tradition to give monetary gifts to those in need on St. Stephen’s Day. This practice is known as “tipping” and is meant to help those who cannot afford basic necessities like food and clothing.

In Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day was once a day for exchanging gifts and feasting with family and friends. Today, it is still a popular day for socializing, but many people also take part in sporting events like Gaelic football and hurling matches.

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Fun Facts About St. Stephen’s Day

1. St. Stephen’s Day is named after Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

2. The day commemorates his death on December 26, AD 36.

3. Saint Stephen is the patron saint of horses and riders.

4. The red rose is a symbol of St. Stephen’s Day.

5. In many European countries, St. Stephen’s Day is a holiday where people exchange gifts.


All in all, St. Stephen’s Day is a wonderful day to celebrate and show appreciation for the Christian faith. It is a unique holiday that celebrates the life of one of the most important figures in Christianity, and it offers an opportunity to spend time with family members appreciating what we all have in common. Whether you join your local church celebrations or stay home to honor St Stephen, enjoy this special day with those around you!


Year Date Day
2022 December 26 Monday
2023 December 26 Tuesday
2024 December 26 Thursday
2025 December 26 Friday
2026 December 26 Saturday


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