Why is the day after Christmas called Boxing Day?
New Delhi, Dec 25: When Christmas day passes, the celebration continues in the United Kingdom and other British Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Boxing Day is a bank holiday or public holiday that became official in 1871.
Boxing Day is traditionally recognized on December 26, but if that day falls on a Saturday, the celebration moves to the following Monday. If December 26 is a Sunday, Boxing Day is observed on the following Tuesday.
Boxing Day significance
The term "Boxing Day" was first recorded in 1833, but the official origin of the name has never been determined. There are, however, plenty of theories, which are connected to charity traditionally distributed to lower classes on the day after Christmas.
Holiday gifts: A "Christmas Box" in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a gift from their employer. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give gifts to their families.
Charity drives: A box to collect money for the poor traditionally and placed in Churches on Christmas day and opened the next day, or Boxing Day.
Nautical tradition: When setting sail, ships would carry a sealed box containing money for good luck. If the voyage was a success, the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas, and the contents then given to the poor.
Popular Boxing Day Activities
Many people will gather for meals, spend time outside, or simply relax at home and enjoy the day off. Traditional Boxing Day food includes baked ham, pease pudding, and mince pies with brandy butter, along with a slice of Christmas cake or another dessert.
To some extent, Boxing Day is considered a shopping holiday, with stores offering reduced prices for Boxing Day sales, similar to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.
In recent years Boxing Day has become synonymous with watching sports. A number of leagues in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland hold football and rugby matches, while Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa are known for cricket matches on Boxing Day. Other sports that typically occur on Boxing Day include horse racing and ice hockey.