Boxing Day Hunt


“Good King Wenceslas Looked Out On The Feast Of Stephen”

The traditional celebration of Boxing Day included giving money and other gifts to charitable institutions, needy individuals, and household servants. The holiday may date from the Middle Ages (A.D. 400’s–1500’s), when Lords and Ladies of England presented Christmas gifts in boxes to their servants on December 26 or it may have begun with priests, who opened the church’s Alms (charity) boxes on the day after Christmas and distributed the contents to the poor.

Since the advent of Christianity, hunting and shooting have been banned on Sundays. Boxing Day is therefore the first Day after Christmas, when family and guests are gathered together, when vigorous sporting activity is possible. Consequently, there have been Boxing Day Hunts in the United Kingdom since the first recorded Hunt in Norfolk in 1534. This is a day when the Landlords meet up and mount-up, and the estate workers follow, watch and cheer.
Despite the Hunting Ban brought in in 2019, largely as a way of stopping wealthy people enjoying themselves, over 80 Boxing Day Hunts still take place around the UK, now in Trail Hunts, though traditional fox hunting still continues, legally, in Northern Ireland. Most organising officials, the Masters, still wear their Red Coats (know as ‘Pinques’), showing the way and herding the hounds and guests in thick, black hunting frock-coats. Ladies often wear black or dark navy coats.  Many hunts have their own traditional colours: The Berkeley Hunters have the Estate-mustard coloured coats; the Duke of Beaufort hunters wear blue and buff; the Royal Artillery wear Green Cavalry twill with gold piping a red collars.
Many Hunts, like the Quorn, in Leicestershire, have a long association with the Royal Family, and most are extremely popular – the Quorn has over 800 local landlords who allow their land to be used for the hunt and over 100 hunters join in their gatherings.

Boxing Day Hunt
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