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Guide 2 Christmas   >   Boxing Day

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is the name commonly given to December 26th (falling on the same day as St. Stephen's Day) in many Commonwealth countries including UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A public holiday is observed on Boxing Day, although the legal Boxing Day holiday will be moved to next weekday if it falls on a weekend.

Boxing Day has long been a day for sporting activities: In the UK, traditionally fox hunting, but nowadays football and horseracing. In Australia, a cricket test match is placed at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Additionally, many shops and stores begin their post-Christmas sales on Boxing Day.

There are many different stories about the origins of Boxing Day, and it is not known, which, if any, are true (several of the stories relate to giving Christmas boxes). Here are some of these stories:
  • In olden days, merchants would give their servants gifts of food and fruit, packed in boxes, on Boxing Day.

  • In feudal times, the lord of the manor would give boxes of tools, cloth, grains and other essentials to the serfs who live on his land, on Boxing Day.

  • In olden days, servants reporting for work after Christmas would carry a box, and their employers would put coins as end-of-year gifts into the boxes.

  • In olden days, servants who had to work on Christmas would open their presents (boxes) on Boxing Day.

  • In olden days, each church would open its donation box to give the money to the poor.

  • In olden days, the wren, the king of birds, was captured on Boxing Day, and introduced to each household in the village, where he would be asked for a successful year and a good harvest.

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