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Good King Wenceslas

Since King Wenceslas lived back in the tenth century, portraits of the popular saint vary widely.









A Duke Not A King

In real life King Wenceslas was actually a Duke, the Duke of Bohemia to be exact. Furthermore, he went by the name of Vaclav the Good. Only after his death at the hands of his brother, was the duke honored with the title of king. This privileged name was bestowed on the Duke by the Roman Emperor to honor the success that Wenceslas had had in spreading Christianity in pagan Central Europe.

Boxing Day and the Feast of Saint Stephen

In the song, the story of King Wenceslas helping a peasant takes place on the Feast of Saint Stephen, which occurs on the day after Christmas, December 26, also known as Boxing Day. Despite the antics of the four Irish Rovers, Boxing Day is a day of giving gifts (usually in boxes).


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