SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day, thus being the second day of Christmastide. It originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in a number of countries that formed part of the British Empire. Boxing Day is on 26 December, although the attached bank holiday or public holiday may take place either on that day or two days later. In parts of Europe, such as Romania, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day. There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of, definitive; the European tradition of giving money and other gifts to those in need and in service positions has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in the narthex of Christian churches to collect donations to the poor; the tradition may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era wherein alms boxes placed in churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Christian Churches falls on the same day as Boxing Day, the second day of Christmastide.

On this day, it is customary in some localities for the alms boxes to be opened and distributed to the poor. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as "the first weekday after Christmas day, observed as a holiday on which postmen, errand boys, servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas box"; the term "Christmas box" dates back to the 17th century, among other things meant: A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer. In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year; this is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older British tradition where the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families since they would have to serve their masters on Christmas Day.

The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and sometimes leftover food. Until the late 20th century there continued to be a tradition among many in the UK to give a Christmas gift cash, to vendors although not on Boxing Day as many would not work on that day. In South Africa, vendors who have little interaction with those they serve are accustomed to knock on their doors asking for a "Christmas box", being a small cash donation, in the weeks before or after Christmas; this practice has become controversial and some municipalities have banned their staff from asking for Christmas boxes. Boxing Day is a secular holiday traditionally celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day. 26 December is Saint Stephen's Day, a religious holiday. In the UK, Boxing Day has been a bank holiday since 1871; when 26 December falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is on the following Monday. If 26 December falls on a Sunday, the public holiday is the following Tuesday. In Scotland, Boxing Day has been specified as an additional bank holiday since 1974, by Royal Proclamation under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.

In Hong Kong, despite the transfer of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997, Boxing Day continues to be a public holiday. If Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, a compensation day is given on the next weekday. In Ireland, when the entire island was part of the United Kingdom, the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of Saint Stephen as a non-moveable public holiday on 26 December. Following partition in 1920, Northern Ireland reverted to Boxing Day. In East Donegal and Inishowen, the day is popularly known as Boxing Day. In Australia, Boxing Day is a public holiday in all jurisdictions except the state of South Australia, where a public holiday known as Proclamation Day is celebrated on the first weekday after Christmas Day or the Christmas Day holiday. In New Zealand, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday. On these holidays, people who must work receive 1 1/2 times their salaries and a day in lieu is provided to employees who work. In Canada, Boxing Day is a federal statutory holiday. Government offices and post offices/delivery are closed.

In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday, always celebrated on 26 December. In Canadian provinces where Boxing Day is a statutory holiday and it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week. While not observed in the United States, on 5 December 1996, Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld declared 26 December as Boxing Day in Massachusetts in response to the efforts of a local coalition of British citizens to "transport the English tradition to the United States", but not as an employee holiday. In Nigeria, Boxing Day is a public holiday for working students; when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, there is always a holiday on Monday. In Trinidad and Tobago, Boxing Day is a public holiday. In Singapore, Boxing Day was a public holiday for working students. However, in recent years this tradition has ceased in Singapore. In South Africa, Boxing Day is a public holiday. Many South Africans spend the day at the beach. In the

Saint Mark (Donatello)

Donatello's Saint Mark is a marble statue that stands seven feet and nine inches high and is displayed in the museum of the Orsanmichele church, Florence. It was displayed in an exterior niche of the church, where a copy now stands. Donatello was commissioned by the linen weavers' guild to complete three pieces for the project. St. Mark was the first of his contributions; the niche itself was not of Donatello's hand, but created most by two stone carvers named Perfetto di Giovanni and Albizzo di Pietro. Donatello's sculpture is notable for evidence of the artist's skills; the veins of St. Mark's left hand are visible as he holds a text upon his hip. or natural pose, is used with Donatello's St. Mark; the saint has more weight on his right leg, his left knee is bent, his torso is twisted. The style is much more naturalistic than the symmetry and unrealistic nature of art from the Dark Ages. Donatello's sculpture differs from medieval works in the way that drapery is used in that St. Mark's figure is revealed by a realistic draping of linen.

According to Renaissance scholar Gene A. Brucker, Donatello's statue of St. Mark "is recognized as the first Renaissance monument." According to Vasari's text The Lives of the Artists, written 140 years after the completion of St. Mark, the linen workers' guild rejected the sculpture because it appeared unnatural when set at street level; this was due to proportion adjustments made for its final resting place in the niche, well above street level. The head and torso were made larger. Donatello promised to make adjustments, so he covered the statue with a cloth, set the statue in the niche above the street, without touching the statue for 15 days, once again revealed it to the guild. With its location above the viewer, the proportions looked perfect and the linen weaver's guild accepted the statue. USAD - Art Resource Guide http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/orsanmichele/orsanmichele.html Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artists, 1550 In the early pages of Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy Michelangelo walks by Donatello's statue of St. Mark and exclaims "Sculpture is the greatest art!"

Donatello, Saint Mark, Smarthistory

The Mahabharata (play)

The Mahabharata is a French play, based on the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata, by Jean-Claude Carrière, first staged in a quarry just outside Avignon in a production by the English director Peter Brook. The play, nine hours long in performance, toured the world for four years. For two years the show was performed both in English; the play is divided into three parts: The Exile in the Forest and The War. In 1989, it was adapted for television as a six-hour mini series, it was reduced to about three hours as a film for theatrical and DVD release. The screenplay was the result of eight years' work by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carrière, Marie-Hélène Estienne; the original stage play was performed at the 39th Avignon festival, on July 7, 1985, at Carrière de Boulbon. There were 9 representations in a cycle of three plays: "La Partie de dés" on 7, 10, 16, 19, 25, 28 July, and these were played together on 13, 22 et 31 July. The French stage version was produced by:Centre international de recherche théâtrales-Bouffes du Nord - C.

I. R. T and the 39th Festival of Avignon and received the support of the French Culture Ministry and the City of Paris; the set design and costumes by Chloé Obolenski. The cast included twenty-one performers from sixteen Countries: Joséphine Derenne, Maurice Bénichou, Pascaline Pointillart, Mireille Maalouf, Tam Sir Niane, Mallika Sarabhai, Ryszard Cieslak, Georges Corraface, Jean-Paul Denizon, Mamadou Dioume, Matthias Habich, Andréas Katsulas, Sotigui Kouyaté, Alain Maratrat, Clément Masdongar, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Bruce Myers, Yoshi Oida, Andrzej Seweryn, Douta Seck, Tapa Sudana, Ken Higelin, Lutfi Jakfar, Nicolas Sananikone, Samon Takahashi; the musicians included Djamchid Chemirani, Kudsi Erguner, Kim Menzer, Mahmoud Tabrizi-zadeh, Toshi Tsuchitori. In a long article in 1985, The New York Times registered the "overwhelming critical acclaim" the production received and that the play "did nothing less than attempt to transform Hindu myth into universalized art, accessible to any culture".

However, many postcololonial scholars have challenged the claim to universalism, accusing the play of orientalism. For instance, Gautam Dasgupta writes that, "Brook's Mahabharata falls short of the essential Indianness of the epic by staging predominantly its major incidents and failing to adequately emphasize its coterminous philosophical precepts." Photographs of the stage play at Avignon by Daniel Cande, on 7 July 1985. Battlefield French National Library database