What is Boxing Day?
A national holiday known as Boxing Day was observed in the United Kingdom and a number of Commonwealth nations, including New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. It was the first (strictly, the first weekday) following Christmas Day. Boxing Day is observed on December 26 as a Day of Goodwill.
Boxing Day, which falls on December 26, is the second day of the Christmas season. However, if Boxing Day falls on a weekend, it is always observed on the following Monday, along with the associated bank holiday or public holiday, which may be on that day or a day or two later.
Boxing Day Origin
Several countries that were formerly a part of the British Empire now honor this holiday, which began in the United Kingdom. The history of Boxing Day can be traced in several different ways.
It applies to the poor boxes or alms troughs that churches use to collect donations for the underprivileged.
Others believe that the name comes from the gift boxes handed to working servants on Christmas Day. They received gifts the following day.
On December 26, St. Stephen, the animal-patron saint, celebrates his feast day. On this day, a lot of sporting events are also planned for this reason. Before a law outlawed the activity in 2004 in England and Wales, fox hunting was a part of the sport’s history.
With many merchants clearing out their inventories on Boxing Day, the holiday has come to be associated with promotions and discounts.
Boxing Day History
Boxing Day originated from the custom of wealthy families boxing up gifts to give to the less fortunate during Queen Victoria’s reign in the 1800s. As servants of nobles were obliged to work on Christmas, the next day became the day when their employers loaded up boxes with gifts, money, and Christmas leftovers for them, much like a holiday bonus. Then, the servants will distribute the gift boxes with their family when they return home.
According to a different story, the name originated from the alms boxes that churches distributed to collect money for those in need. Although its precise beginnings are unknown, this practice has been traced back to the Middle Ages. On December 26, the church’s members will distribute these cash to the destitute in observance of St. Stephen’s Day, a martyrdom festival for the Christian martyr known for his charitable deeds. Due to St. Stephen’s significance, Ireland celebrates St. Stephen’s Day on this Day.
Another theory for the name is that when ships set sail, they would carry a sealed box filled with money as a good luck charm. If the journey was successful, the contents of the box were subsequently distributed to the needy after being opened by the priest at Christmas.
Boxing Day Traditions
No matter where they originated, Boxing Day customs have been observed for more than a century, and many individuals still utilize this day to bundle up valuable donations and deliver boxes back to their communities.
They practice odd customs like cycling, enjoyable hikes, and charitable events in the bitterly cold English Channel. Up until 2004, Boxing Day hunts were a customary aspect of the holiday. However, this is no longer the case due to the prohibition on traditional fox hunting. In bright red hunting coats, hunters will still congregate to the sound of the hunting horn.
Boxing Day Celebrations
Boxing Day is a gathering day for certain individuals with cuisine that typically includes baked ham, pudding, a piece of Christmas cake, and other things.
Retailers celebrate Boxing Day by lowering their Boxing Day sale prices.
In England and Scotland, it is also observed by watching football and rugby games, while test cricket is popular in Australia and South Africa. Another sport that often takes place on Boxing Day is ice hockey.