Our Dear Friends,
Saint Stephen's Day, or the Feast of Saint Stephen, is a Christian saint's day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr, celebrated on 26 December in the Latin Church and 27 December in Eastern Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox Church adheres to the Julian calendar and mark Saint Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts. In Latin Christian denominations, Saint Stephen's Day marks the second day of Christmastide.
It is an official public holiday in Alsace-Moselle, Austria, the Balearic Islands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, and Switzerland. The date is also a public holiday in those countries that celebrate Boxing Day on the day in addition to or instead of Saint Stephen's Day, such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland.
Stephanitag is a public holiday in mainly Catholic Austria. In the Archdiocese of Vienna, the day of patron saint Saint Stephen is even celebrated on a Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, the feast of the Holy Family. Similar to the adjacent regions of Bavaria, numerous ancient customs still continued to this day, such as ceremonial horseback rides and blessing of horses, or the "stoning" drinking ritual celebrated by young men after attending church service.
The 26th of December is – as Second Day of Christmas (German: Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag, Czech: druhý svátek vánoční) – a public holiday in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.