St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland ― Date, History, and Details

St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland

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History of St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

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 Ireland, it is a public holiday and one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

On St. Stephen’s Day, many people attend Mass and then visit the graves of their deceased relatives. It is also traditional to eat a large meal, often featuring turkey or goose. In some parts of Ireland, there are parades and street performances.

The day gets its name from Saint Stephen, who was the first Christian martyr. He was stoned to death in Jerusalem in the year AD 33. According to tradition, Saint Stephen’s body was taken from Jerusalem and brought to Rome by his followers. His tomb became a place of pilgrimage and his feast day was celebrated by the early Church.

In Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day is a time to remember the poor and needy. Many charities collect money on this day to help those less fortunate.