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The Feast of St. Stephen celebrates one of the first deacons and one of the first martyrs. On 26th December 1394,  the relics of St. Stephen were to Putignano, a town in the province of Bari for safe-keeping away from the Saracen. The town’s people were so happy that they began the annual feast that starts on Dec 26 and continues to Shrove Tuesday. Before the opening Mass, the people dusted their faces with a mixture of ground chickpeas and barley to exhibit purity. Every Italian town has its way of celebrating St. Stephen’s Feast.; some will have processions dedicated to Saint Stephen, whereas others may be a low-key affair where people visit the local hospitals to make a donation. In Many towns they stage a re-enactment of the Nativity–in Vaccheria it is 2 km long. In  Germany, Austria, the  Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak, the United Kingdom, and some Commonwealth countries, the people celebrate December 26 is known as Boxing Day, which takes its name from the practice of giving small gifts to household servants. Hungary celebrates on a different day. Whatever forms the celebrations take, one thing that is guaranteed is that there will be a feast – smaller than the previous day’s feast but a feast nonetheless.  

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