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Unveiling the Traditions and Origins of Boxing Day - A Post-Christmas Celebration

White text saying BOXING DAY on a wooden table with some Christmas presents in the corner

Boxing Day is a celebrated holiday originating in Great Britain, observed not only there but also in several Commonwealth nations. Falling on December 26th, this day is marked by unique traditions and activities that have evolved over time.

When is Boxing Day?

Traditionally, Boxing Day occurs on December 26th, but if this date falls on a weekend, the associated bank holiday or public holiday is observed on December 28th to ensure it aligns with a weekday.

Where Did Boxing Day originate from?

The origins of Boxing Day trace back to the Victorian era. During Queen Victoria's reign, it became a day of philanthropy and appreciation. Wealthy individuals would pack items they no longer needed into boxes, generously gifting them to the less fortunate. Servants were granted a well-deserved day off and were often presented with a special box of treats as a token of gratitude for their hard work.

Why is it called Boxing Day?

One theory suggests that the name comes from the practice of boxing up gifts for easier transportation. Another theory revolves around opening alms boxes in churches during the holiday season to collect money for the impoverished.

Left over Christmas Food on a paper plate

How do people celebrate Boxing Day?

In England, Boxing Day is marked by a tapestry of traditions and activities that foster a festive spirit:

Family Gatherings: Families come together to share meals and enjoy each other's company, continuing the holiday cheer.

Sports and Outdoor Activities: Many embrace the outdoors with long walks, hikes, and traditional sports like football and horse racing.

Charity Events: Reflecting its historical roots, some individuals and communities engage in charitable activities, such as volunteering or organising fundraising events.

Shopping Traditions: Boxing Day has transformed into a shopping holiday, featuring significant discounts. Retailers offer sales, and bargain hunters seize the opportunity to score discounted goods.

Entertainment: Emphasising relaxation, people indulge in various forms of entertainment, from watching movies to playing games.

Leftover Feasts: The day continues the joy of Christmas feasts, with families savouring delicious leftovers and sharing culinary delights.

Boxing Day, with its rich history and diverse celebrations, has evolved into a day that blends generosity, outdoor activities, and modern shopping traditions. It stands as a unique post-Christmas celebration that brings people together in the spirit of giving and merriment.


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