Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bocksing Day

Today is Bocksing Day, and thank goodness it is almost over. Being myself rather evenly gruntled, I am so tired of fighting the disgruntled crowds who are returning disliked Christmas gifts.

Bocksing Day, named after a revered Chinese rail worker whose descendents settled far from Promentory,  began in rural Montana in 1939, the custom quickly spreading like the plague up into Canada. Canada quickly accepted it as their third national holiday. Eh?

As most of you know - all of you who observe it, at least - Bocksing Day takes place 6 days before the first day of any new year, and was REALLY so-named because it was customary for people in rural Montana to visit churches and place small coins (called "bocks") in the slot of the metal poor bockses located outside churches. While similar, this practice should not be confused with the summer custom of folding single dollar bills (called "bucks") and placing them under diner tables, using chewing gum (called spoggytwag) in medium-sized cities in Wisconsin, which custom is much older than Bocksing Day.

In western Canada, most particularly in the well-to-do Alberta regions of Pincher Creek and Cardston, where most people have several household employees and servants, the tradition was known as "Bacziating Day" (from the Swedish "to put one on the right horse") and entailed putting their servants in bockses (though spelled "baczies") and allowing the household children to beat the sides of said bockses in an apparent attempt to "humble" the servants. This origin is rather obscure, even by Canadian standards. Nonetheless, it was practiced 6 days before the new year in the greater Pincher Creek Valley, losing popularity in the bocksing season of 1942-1943 when one chambermaid was permanently deafened.

Bocksing Day is not really a known holiday outside the U.S. and (temporarily) in that one small Swedish community in western Canada.


  1. Too much mulled-wine?

    I have done no bosking this time, after getting a little miffed a couple of weeks back. I annihilated the household servants. As I had no guns, I had to set giant mousetraps at the top of the stairs. Then I carefully unscrewed the light-bulbs, and retired to my bedroom.
    At precisely 2 a.m., I pulled the bell rope beside my bed. Jeeves stepped straight into the trap, poor fella, took quite a while to expire, a bit of a mess, really. But I mopped it up and slid his limp corpse into the laundry-chute. Waited an hour, then snapped it on Mrs Jeeves.
    By five-thirty, I'd got the lot of them, all in the cellars, and down the old mineshaft. The stones are back in place, and the wine-rack on top.
    Saved me a fortune in wages.

  2. Hahahahah! I used that same pic on my FB!

    Happy New Year, RM...have a great one! :)



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