Boxing Day – the day after Christmas

Boxing Day – the day after Christmas

Boxing Day and is a holiday celebrated on 26th December in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries. the day was first celebrated in the United Kingdom where the British empire was dominant. The name has nothing to do with the Boxing game but it is a day to unbox all the gifts and boxes received on Christmas. It is a day to celebrate the gifts given to each other and the loved ones.

Boxing Day originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. For years in which the holiday falls on a weekend, the celebration is moved to make sure workers still get a day off (except in Canada, where it remains Dec. 26) In the UK it’s classed as a Bank Holiday. In some European countries such as Romania, Hungary, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day.

Boxing Day is so-called because it was the custom on that day for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year. Boxing Day is also St. Stephen’s Day. St Stephen was a little known saint who achieved eternal fame by being the first Christian to be martyred for his faith by being stoned to death shortly after Christ’s crucifixion. On the day after Christmas, the priests used to open the boxes and distribute the contents to the poor of the village. Thus this day came to be called Boxing Day.

It is an old tradition of Boxing Day to gift money to those who provide you with services throughout the year. When this tradition started, it was a day that the wealthy gave off to their servants. The wealthy would give a box containing a gift to their servants as a gesture of appreciation. Today, the tradition has expanded to show appreciation to anyone who provides you a service. This can include the mailman, bellhop, garbage collector, and your pastor. You can also remember those people with a small, simple present in lieu of money.

Shopping Deals

Just like Black Friday sales, people wait eagerly for Boxing Day sales, it’s a great opportunity for people looking to make the best out of the festival season. Once Christmas is over there is a lot of autumn/winter stock left to be sold and this is the perfect time to buy any last min Xmas gift for people you forget or any new knitwear for your New Year’s Eve. Boxing Day is a bank holiday across the UK and Britons flock to shopping centers and streets are packed with shoppers to spend Christmas money. This is an extra day off during the Christmas period.

Many make it a tradition to hit the stores to take advantage of the Boxing Day sales and specials. Stores open early to expand on this tradition and get shoppers ready to make purchases and enjoy the deals. Shoppers even queue for hours outside the shops before they open to grab the dramatically reduced price on this day. Many stores have had to implement crowd control by limiting entrances and the number of shopper’s instore at any one time.

Many retailers are now starting their Boxing Day sales online on Christmas Eve – or earlier. Due to the popularity of the Boxing Day sales many stores are now running Boxing Weeks where bargains can be had in the days before and the days after Boxing day.

How to celebrate Boxing Day

Boxing Day is spent with family and friends at open gatherings with lots of food, fun, friendship, and love. Food on Boxing Day usually includes leftover food from the day before. You can enjoy sharing special memories from holiday seasons past and create new memories that will last a lifetime. People love to meet their friends at local pubs in the area. In addition to people enjoying drinking and socializing with friends, local establishments enjoy the extra business and crowds. In modern times the day is associated with sports, particularly football and rugby. The Boxing Day match is also a very popular event in the sporting calendar.

Boxing Day is a time for giving to people in need so donate a filled box to organizations in your community and help the people in need.

“May the peace of today bring light into your life and eliminate all darkness that is in the subsequent days. Enjoy all the sweet moments that come with the day. Happy boxing day.”

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.